South Carolina General Assembly
103rd Session, 1979-1980

Bill 802

                    Current Status

Bill Number:               802
Ratification Number:       398
Act Number                 357
Introducing Body:          Senate
Subject:                   Definition of "animal
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(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)

(A357, R398, S802)


Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

Definition of "Animal Shelter"

Section 1. The term "animal shelter" shall mean any place or premises kept for the care, keeping, impounding or boarding of stray, neglected or abandoned animals, whether such premises are owned or operated by a municipality, county, private association, institution or humane organization.

Methods of euthanasia

Section 2. Only the following methods of euthanasia shall be used to kill dogs and cats impounded in animal shelters and the procedure applicable to the method selected shall be strictly followed:

1. Barbituric Acid Derivatives:

(a) Intravenous or intracardial injection of lethal solution,

(b) Intraperitoneal injection of a lethal solution when location of an injection into the vein is difficult or impossible,

(c) Oral ingestion of powdered barbituric acid derivatives in capsules mixed with food or by manual administration.

2. Euthanasia Solution T-61 or other therapeutically equivalent solution approved for animal euthanasia by the American Veterinary Medicine Association and the Food and Drug Administration:

Intravenous or intracardial injection of these solutions specifically according to the directions of the manufacturers for intravenous and intracardial injections.

The solutions shall not be administered via intraperitoneal, intrathoracic, or intrapulmonary routes, nor in any other manner except as provided above.

Administration of injections shall be done only by a licensed veterinarian or by a person trained for this purpose by a licensed veterinarian. All injections shall be administered using an undamaged hypodermic needle of a size suitable for the size and species of animal.

3. Carbon Monoxide Gas:

Dogs and cats, except animals under eight weeks of age, may be killed by carbon monoxide gas administered in a tightly enclosed chamber. The chamber shall be equipped with:

(a) Internal lighting and a window providing direct visual surveillance of the collapse and death of any animal within the chamber,

(b) The gas concentration process must be adequate to achieve a carbon monoxide gas concentration throughout the chamber of at least five percent within five minutes after any animal is placed in the chamber.

If chemical generation through the use of sodium formate and sulfuric acid is used, the generated carbon monoxide gas must have all irritating acid vapors filtered out by passing it through a ten percent solution of sodium hydroxide prior to its entry into the carbon monoxide chamber.

(c) If carbon monoxide gas generation is by combustion of gasoline in an engine, all of the following shall be satisfied:

(1) The engine shall be maintained in good operating condition.

(2) The engine shall be operated only at idling speed with the richest fuel-air mixture the choke permits.

(3) Prior to entry into the chamber, the exhaust gas shall be cooled so that it does not exceed 115° Fahrenheit.

(4) The chamber shall be equipped with accurate temperature gauges monitored closely by attendants or shall be equipped with an alarm system to assure that the internal temperature of the chamber does not exceed 90° Fahrenheit.

(5) Prior to entry into the chamber, the exhaust gas shall be first passed through an adequate water-gravel filtration process and subsequently through a cloth filtration process to remove irritants and carbon particles.

(6) The noise level from the engine shall not exceed 70 dBA when measured within the chamber.

(7) A flexible tubing or pipe at least twenty-four inches in length shall be placed between the chamber and the engine to minimize vibrations.

(8) The unit shall include a means for exhausting or by passing internal combustion engine gas during the period of engine warm-up.

(9) The unit shall include an exhaust fan connected by a gas-tight duct to the outdoors capable of completely evacuating the gas from the chamber before it is opened after each use, except that this provision shall not apply to chambers located out-of-doors.

(d) Animals shall be left in the chamber for a period of no less than fifteen minutes from the time the gas concentration throughout the chamber reaches five percent.

4. Nitrogen Gas:

Dogs and cats, except animals under four months of age may be killed by nitrogen gas provided:

(a) The nitrogen gas cabinet is equipped with a viewport providing direct visual surveillance of the collapse and death of any animal within the cabinet, and internal lighting unless the cabinet is equipped with a clear door.

(b) Every animal is placed in an individual container or compartment of the cabinet.

(c) The oxygen concentration within the cabinet is reduced to 1.5 percent or less by displacing air within the cabinet with nitrogen.

(d) The 1.5 percent reduction in oxygen concentration is reached within 45-50 seconds after the beginning of the cycle of operation and the animals are left within the cabinet at that concentration not less than ten minutes.

(e) Pregnant animals are left in the cabinet not less than twenty minutes.

In all instances where the carbon monoxide and nitrogen chambers are used:

(a) Neither incompatible or hostile animals, nor animals of different species shall be placed in any chamber simultaneously.

(b) Every chamber must be thoroughly cleaned after the completion of each full cycle. No live animals shall be placed in the chamber with dead animals.

(c) All animals must be examined by a veterinarian or other qualified person to insure they are dead upon removal from chamber.

(d) All chambers shall be inspected quarterly by an independent qualified technician who is thoroughly knowledgeable with the operation and maintenance of the particular euthanasia chamber being used.

(e) An operational guide and maintenance instructions shall be displayed in the room with the euthanasia chamber.

5. Shooting:

Shooting shall be used as a means of euthanasia only in an emergency situation to prevent extreme suffering or in which the safety of people or other animal life is threatened or where it is deemed necessary by the South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department to eliminate or control the population of feral animals.

6. Inhalent Anesthetics:

The animal to be killed shall be less than eight weeks old.

(a) The animal to be killed shall be placed in a cage. The cage shall be placed in an airtight chamber or in a transparent plastic bag which can be tightly sealed following introduction of the inhalent anesthetic.

(b) When using ether, halothane, fluothane, halocarbon, metofane or penthrane a veterinarian shall be consulted as to the amount of inhalent anesthetic to be used in relation to the size of the container. When using chloroform a two percent concentration within the chamber is required. To obtain a two percent concentration use a formula of 1.9 cubic centimeters (.068 ounce) per cubic foot of air space within the container or chamber.

(c) The inhalent anesthetic shall be placed on a piece of gauze or ball of cotton and inserted into the chamber or bag in such a position that the animal shall not be able to come in direct contact with it.

(d) The lid of the chamber or the top of the plastic bag shall be left open until the animal is anesthetized. When no movement is seen, the container shall be tightly sealed.

(e) The animal shall remain in the chamber or bag for a period of not less than twenty minutes.

(f) The room in which the inhalent anesthetic is administered shall have forced ventilation to remove all fumes after each use.

(g) The animal shall remain in the chamber or bag until rigor mortis has occurred.

Inspection of animal shelters

Section 3. The local Departments of Health and Environmental Control shall inspect any animal shelter in which dogs and cats are impounded and destroyed upon receipt of complaint by any citizen transmitted through any active state chartered nonprofit humane organization or bona fide chapter of a national humane organization. The inspection may include, but shall not be limited to, the methods of euthanasia employed by such facility.


Section 4. No person shall kill any dog or cat impounded in an animal shelter by any means except as provided by this act. Any person who violates the provisions of this act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than thirty days for each animal killed.


Section 5. The provisions of this act shall not apply to persons engaged in scientific endeavors by institutions of higher education.

Time effective

Section 6. This act shall take effect six months after approval by the Governor.