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State cracking down on animal euthanization

COLUMBUS COUNTY -- The state is cracking down on the way animal shelters euthanize stray animals in their care. The state Board of Agriculture voted this week to approve new regulations specifying the right way to euthanize animals in the shelter. One shelter in Columbus County that deals with this issue every week. The new regulation states, animal shelters using lethal injections or carbon monoxide to put animals down will have to do it in the most humane way possible. The rule will also set standards on equipment and enforce extensive training for facility employees. This comes after a two year process between an animal welfare committee and the board of agriculture to set these guidelines. Right now the Columbus County shelter uses carbon monoxide in a home-made gas chamber to euthanize animals. Animal Control Director Rossie Hayes says due to the publics care of unwanted animals, euthanization is a necessary evil. "The whole bottom line is that it's the public out there, if they would control their animals so they wouldn't multiply there wouldn't be no need for it," Hayes said. "Anyway way you look at it what the state requires us to do we will abide by it." This regulation is expected to take effect by April 1. To comply with the new rules the shelter may have replace its home-made chamber with a commercially manufactured one. Not all animal lovers believe carbon monoxide is the way to go.

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