New rules approved by the North Carolina Board of Agriculture allow animal shelters to continue using gas chambers for euthanasia, but with some guidelines.
The board said Wednesday that the shelters that euthanize with gas must use commercial carbon monoxide and commercially made chambers. Shelters must stop using practices such as connecting a hose to an automobile exhaust pipe.
The shelters may continue using lethal injection. An Agriculture Department spokesman tells WITN that there are about 40 counties throughout the state that still use the gas chambers.
The board declined to approve a proposal to outlaw gas chambers at all shelters by Jan. 1, 2012.
In 2005, legislators ordered the state Agriculture Department in 2005 to come up with rules for humanely euthanizing shelter animals.