Friday, December 07, 2007

Animal Rights

A good friend from college wrote this. She is in Eastern NC, but this appplies to all NC residents!

Educate yourself about your passions; try to make a difference

By STACEY MANNING, Managing editor


The small video image flickered in front of me. I didn’t want to click the play button. I didn’t want to watch. I didn’t want to see what I knew was going to play out in front of me, but I had to.

To write about something I feel so passionately about, I had to watch.

To write about something that makes my heart break, my stomach turn and tears well in my eyes, I had to watch.
I clicked play and watched.

On the screen in front of me, my heart ached as I watched a video, recorded sometime in the 1990s, of animals being euthanized in a gas chamber at a North Carolina animal control facility.

I watched workers pick up dogs of all sizes, colors and breeds. Not one of them was vicious. Not one was muzzled. Not one growled or barked. Not one was mean.

The animals were loaded, one at a time on top of one another, into a cramped space. The top was closed, the hose connected and the carbon monoxide valve turned on.

As the animals squealed and cried, they barked and clawed trying to get away from the poisonous gas that poured into their chamber. Sealed in, they had nowhere to go.

My heart sank further; my hands covered my mouth. My stomach flipped. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I wanted to be mad at the world.

Above all, I was sick.

I was sick for the animals whose only crimes were being born unwanted.

I was sick for the men and women who have jobs that give them the heartbreaking chore to do that. How difficult that must be for each of them.

I was sick thinking of careless human owners who give little regard to what happens when animals aren’t spayed or neutered.

I was sick mostly because I know something similar happens right here in Brunswick County.

Throughout North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Coalition for Humane Enthunasia (NCCHE), more than 30 animal shelters still use gas chambers as a way to kill unwanted, sick and aggressive shelter animal.

Brunswick County Animal Control is among those.

What they do is perfectly legal and currently accepted by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.

But just because it’s legal, it doesn’t make it right.

Currently, the state agriculture department is accepting public comments about rules that govern animal control facilities in North Carolina. This is a time for Brunswick Countians to speak up about what they think should be done right here and throughout the state.

As it is proposed, the state’s rules would currently continue to allow animal facilities to gas animals until 2012. However, NCCHE is calling for that to be changed immediately.

The group is requesting all gas chambers be put out of use now. It argues the method is inhumane and requests rules be changed to say that euthanasia by injection should be the only method allowed in the state’s animal facilities.

Injections, the group claims, are currently used in all veterinarian offices and are the only euthanasia methods approved by every national humane organization in the United States. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Humane Society of the United States recommend injections of sodium pentobarbital as the preferred method of euthanasia.

And, the group goes on to point out, the cost of lethal injections is comparable to expenses related to using inhalant gases like carbon monoxide.

Why should you, as a Brunswick County resident care? Your tax dollars fund the animal control facility here, and your money is being used to pay for animal gassing. Your hard-earned dollars are being used to kill animals slowly. They don’t just lie down and go to sleep. Animals cry, scratch and howl while they’re dying. Animals urinate, vomit, convulse and defecate their way to death.

Is this something you want to pay for?

You can make a difference and it doesn’t take a lot of effort. Let the Board of Agriculture know you want gas chambers eradicated right now.

You can send letters directly to David S. McLeod, secretary, N.C. Board of Agriculture, 1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1001.

NCCHE has a form letter you can download directly from its Web site at http://www.ncche.com. Click on “Sample Letter to NCDA”; print it out, sign it and drop it in the mail. It’s that easy.

Or contact me via e-mail and I’ll send you a copy of the letter.

Don’t delay. The letters must be received by Dec. 31.

Now is the time to tell North Carolina we’ve had enough.

1 comment:

Mrs.Taylor said...

There is a bill to Ban Gas Chambers in N.C., to be introduced to the General Assembly (Jan,'09), so please contact your rep. and sen.(ncleg.net)and ask for their support of the bill. Please take the time to help to end this state-sanctioned animal cruelty!