(A) Only the following methods of euthanasia may be used to kill animals impounded or quarantined in animal shelters, and the procedure applicable to the method selected must be strictly followed:

(1) Barbituric acid derivatives:

(a) intravenous or intracardial injection of a lethal solution;

(b) intraperitoneal injection of 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 of a solution;

(d) intravenous injection of these solutions must be specifically injected according to the directions of the manufacturers for intravenous injections;

(e) intracardial injection of these solutions must only be administered if the animal has been tranquilized with an approved, humane substance and the animal, at the time of the intracardial injection, is anesthetized or comatose;

(f) the solutions may not be administered via intraperitoneal, intrathoracic, intrapulmonary, subcutaneous, intramuscular, intrarenal, intrasplenic, or intrathecal routes or in any other nonvascular injection route except as provided above;

(g) administration of injections must be done only by a licensed veterinarian or by a euthanasia technician or Department of Natural Resources employee, trained and certified for this purpose in a euthanasia training class taught by a licensed South Carolina veterinarian, which must include training in tranquilizing animals. A person certified pursuant to this subitem must continue to maintain his proficiency by successfully completing a training course taught by a licensed South Carolina veterinarian every five years;

(h) all injections must be administered using an undamaged hypodermic needle of a size suitable for the size and species of animal;

(i) an animal shelter, governmental animal control agency, or the Department of Natural Resources (department) may obtain a barbituric acid derivative or tranquilizing agent by direct licensing. The animal shelter, governmental animal control agency, or department must apply for a Controlled Substance Registration Certificate from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and a State Controlled Substances Registration from the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). If an animal shelter, governmental animal control agency, or the department is issued a certificate by the DEA and a registration by DHEC pursuant to this subitem, the animal shelter, governmental animal control agency director or his designee, and the department's applicant are responsible, for maintaining their respective records regarding the inventory, storage, and administration of controlled substances. An animal shelter, governmental animal control agency and its certified euthanasia technician, and the department and its certified employees are subject to inspection and audit by DHEC and the DEA regarding the recordkeeping, inventory, storage, and administration of controlled substances used under authority of this article.

(2) Carbon monoxide gas:

(a) dogs and cats, except animals under sixteen weeks of age, may be killed by bottled carbon monoxide gas administered in a tightly enclosed chamber. The chamber must be equipped with:

(i) internal lighting and a window providing direct visual surveillance of the collapse and death of any animal within the chamber;

(ii) the gas concentration process must be adequate to achieve a carbon monoxide gas concentration throughout the chamber of at least six percent within five minutes after any animal is placed in the chamber. The chamber must have a functioning gas concentration gauge attached to the chamber and a strong airtight seal must be maintained around the door;

(iii) 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 does not apply to chambers located out-of-doors;

(iv) animals must be left in the chamber for a period of no less than fifteen minutes from the time the gas concentration throughout the chamber reaches six percent.

(b) no person may euthanize an animal by gas emitted from any engine exhaust system.

(c) in all instances where a carbon monoxide chamber is used:

(i) no incompatible or hostile animals, or animals of different species, may be placed in any chamber simultaneously;

(ii) every chamber must be thoroughly cleaned after the completion of each full cycle. No live animals may be placed in the chamber with dead animals;

(iii) all animals must be examined by a veterinarian or certified euthanasia technician to ensure they are dead upon removal from the chamber;

(iv) all chambers must be inspected quarterly by an independent, qualified technician who is thoroughly knowledgeable with the operation and maintenance of the particular euthanasia chamber being used;

(v) an operational guide and maintenance instructions must be displayed in the room with the euthanasia chamber.

(3) Shooting:

Shooting may 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 considered necessary by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to eliminate or control the population of feral animals.

(B) In any of the previously listed methods, an animal may not be left unattended between the time euthanasia procedures have commenced and the time death occurs, and the animal's body may not be disposed of until death is confirmed by a certified euthanasia technician.

Legislative history
1980 Act No. 357, Section 2; 1993 Act No. 181, Section 1168, eff July 1, 1994; 2000 Act No. 293, Section 2, eff May 19, 2000.