Brady backs off pet gas chamber bill
Thursday, Feb 25, 2010 - Posted by Rich Miller
* After two years of negotiations, the Humane Society of Illinois succeeded in passing legislation to ban the use of gas chambers to kill several dogs and cats at once. From the June, 2009 press release…
The Humane Society of the United States, on behalf of its more than 448,000 supporters in Illinois, commends the state’s General Assembly for passing legislation at the close of the session banning the use of carbon monoxide gas chambers in shelters and animal control facilities. The new law also bans the use of carbon monoxide gas as a form of euthanasia statewide, so puppy mills will no longer be able to use makeshift gas chambers using engine exhaust.
“The Illinois legislature has spoken clearly that in those unfortunate situations where an animal must be euthanized, they deserve that it be done humanely,” said Jordan Matyas, Illinois state director for The HSUS. “The use of the gas chamber is less humane, more expensive, and more time consuming than the use of lethal injection.
Sen. Bill Brady voted against the legislation.
Two days after the February 2nd primary, Brady introduced a bill to re-legalize mass euthanasia via gas chambers. I told subscribers about this situation yesterday, and the Sun-Times and Lee Newspapers picked it up today. From the Sun-Times…
The GOP’s likely nominee for governor, state Sen. Bill Brady, came under fire Wednesday from a leading animal-rights group for pushing legislation to allow the mass killing of stray shelter animals in gas chambers.
Brady (R-Bloomington) introduced the legislation sought by an animal-control facility in his district on Feb. 2, two days after the GOP gubernatorial primary that he now leads. […]
“I have no idea why Sen. Brady introduced a bill that would allow as many animals as you want to be put into a gas chamber and they’d be exposed to one another,” said Jordan Matyas, the Humane Society’s state director.
“Under his legislation, you could have 10 dogs in one box, gasping for air, at the same time fighting, at the same time fearing for their lives,” said Matyas, whose group has more than 400,000 members in Illinois. “Even if the animals are separated, you still have to run the gas chamber 20 to 40 minutes, which takes a lot more time than an injection.”
Brady said a veterinarian in his district asked that lawmakers consider making the change. But Wednesday, Brady moved to shelve the legislation.
Brady, the possible GOP candidate for governor, said he wanted to have a debate over how to tweak the plan but pointed criticisms from the Humane Society have killed that possibility.
“It’s not ready,” Brady said of the legislation. “And the political games were distracting from the discussion.”
Since my story appeared, Brady has filed an amendment to shell out the offending language and handed off sponsorship to Sen. John O. Jones.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 54 percent of Illinois households own a pet. That works out to almost 2.5 million households. Average Illinois household size is 2.63, so that means about 6.5 million people have a family pet. That’s almost twice the number of people who voted in the 2006 gubernatorial general election (about 3.5 million).