The North Carolina Board of Agriculture announced it will ban gas chambers from the state’s routine euthanasia procedures of cats and dogs from 2015, with the exception of extreme circumstances such as natural disaster or disease outbreak.

“We’re making sure everybody is complying with the new guidelines,” said Dr. Patricia Norris, director of the Animal Welfare Section at the Department, in a letter to euthanasia technicians and animal shelters.

According to the HSUS North Carolina state director, Kim Alboum, almost 200 thousand animals are euthanised in state shelters every year. Only a minority of these were done by gassing because most counties in North Carolina had already ceased this practice voluntarily and changed to more humane methods with the help of HSUS.

“It puts a stigma on our shelters and I think being known as a gas chamber state ends up hurting our animals in the long run,” said Alboum.

According to the HSUS, 23 states have banned the gas chamber and only 9 states continue or are suspected to continue using them.

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