Readers may know that Boks has steadfastly refused to anesthetize animals before killing them with sodium pentabarbital much to the dismay of the humane community. Mike Bell has led the charge to change this situation.
Boks has had an about face on the issue, and a new three phased protocol for anesthetizing animals will be announced soon.
Apparently Boks asked his new Acting Chief Veterinarian, Steven Feldman, DVM, his thoughts on Bell's demand that animal be anesthetized prior to euthanasia. Feldman strongly supported anesthetizing all animals prior to being killed.
The anesthesia protocol will be administered in three phases.
According to an email addressed at Dr. Laws and forwarded to me:
Charlotte, et al,
As promised in earlier communications, LA Animal Services has been reviewing its euthanasia protocol under the able leadership of our new lead veterinarian. We have been specifically working on the issue of pre-sedation.
Although many veterinarians have advised us that our past/current practices are appropriate and humane, we agree with the community that they should actually be exemplary.
With that goal in mind, we have developed a three phased plan for the implementation of sedation as appropriate prior to euthanasia. Our goal is to attain Phase 3 euthanasia practice by August 31, 2007.
PHASE 1: Sedation will be used for felines that are unsocialized to humans (feral) or those showing even a small amount of fearful behavior. (In process)
PHASE 2: All cats and wildlife/exotics; and dogs exhibiting fearful and or/anxious behavior will be sedated prior to euthanasia. We are presently evaluating various "cocktails" that can be utilized for animals over 10-20 lbs. So we will specify later the recommended agent to use prior to sodium pentobartbital. (In process)
PHASE 3: Every animal that is conscious and aware will receive sedation prior to euthanasia with sodium pentobarbital.
Target Date for implementation:August 31, 2007.
We are also reviewing all of our euthanasia rooms to enhance them into more respectful areas for administering euthanasia. The rooms are abominable, and much work has to be done, but we don't want to wait for the new centers to implement this.
I want to thank Dr. Feldman for the breath of fresh air he has brought to the department as evidenced by this progressive approach to this practice. I also want to thank Mike Bell for not relaxing his indomitable spirit during this debate. We're even thinking of naming one of the rooms in his honor...