3 April 2014
The Wanganui District Council today removed the gas chamber formerly used to euthanise animals at the pound.
The gas chamber has not been used since 10 February 2014, after some members of the public raised concerns about the way the Council euthanised animals.
Wanganui resident and Aninal Watch Whanganui (AWW) member Charlotte Goldsworthy, who presented a petition opposing the use of the gas chamber to the Council, witnessed the removal of the chamber. She was accompanied by another representative of AWW and members of animal support group HUHA.
Ms Goldworthy’s petition was presented at a Council meeting on 10 March 2014. The Council recommended using alternative processes for euthanising unwanted dogs and will undertake a review of existing pound facilities.
The cost of using lethal injection to euthanise dogs is around $45,000 per year, over and above current costs. However, since the gas chamber has been out of action, HUHA has rehomed nine out of 15 dogs from the pound and will continue to work with the Council on animal welfare.
“For the people who signed the petition and were unhappy about the way we were euthanising animals, the removal of the chamber will give closure and represent a significant step in animal welfare standards in our community,” Deputy Strategy and Development Manager Jonathan Barrett said.
The gas chamber will be removed, destroyed and possibly used for scrap metal.
“Members of our community expressed their view about how animals were being put down and we have listened to that view. Out of this issue we have also developed a positive relationship with HUHA and we hope to continue this relationship.”