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After vote in Berrien, only one county to use gas chamber to kill unwanted animals

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Berrien County Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to stop using carbon monoxide to euthanize unwanted animals that end up at its animal control facility.

The gas chamber has been used for decades in Berrien County to kill dogs, cats and other wildlife. Now that it’s building a new facility, public pressure to stop the practice has been increasing.

Lawmakers have tried passing bans statewide, but they’ve never gotten to the governor’s desk.

Injections are seen as a safe and faster method, making it less stressful on animals and workers.

At the beginning of this year, four of Michigan’s 83 counties still used gas chambers.

Earlier this week, Van Buren County dismantled its gas chamber. Branch County’s facility burned down this spring, so it hasn’t used its chamber lately, either.

Now, Cass County is the only county left in the state that will still use a gas chamber.      

Lindsey Smith is Michigan Radio’s investigative reporter. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor and West Michigan Reporter.
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