(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) Sodium pentobarbital or a derivative of it by means of:

(a) intravenous injection by hypodermic needle of a lethal solution;

(b) intraperitoneal injection by hypodermic needle of lethal solution as a last resort only when location of an injection into the vein is difficult or impossible;

(c) intracardial injection by hypodermic needle if the dog or cat is unconscious;

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

(e) an animal may be sedated with an approved and humane substance before euthanasia is performed;

(f) the solutions may not be administered via 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 or an individual or entity approved by the State Board of Veterinary Examiners, 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 or an individual or entity approved by the State Board of Veterinary Examiners 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 sodium pentobarbital or a 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;

(j) oral administration of sodium pentobarbital is permitted for the purpose of anesthetizing animals, provided a lethal dose of sodium pentobarbital is administered to euthanize the animal; and

(k) carbon monoxide gas, carbon dioxide gas, or other nonanesthetic inhalants may not be used to perform euthanasia.

(2) A substance which is clinically proven to be as humane as sodium pentobarbital and which has been officially recognized as such by the American Veterinary Medical Association may be used in lieu of sodium pentobarbital to perform euthanasia on dogs and cats, but succinylcholine chloride, curare, curariform mixtures, carbon monoxide gas, carbon dioxide gas, or any substance which acts as a neuromuscular blocking agent may not be used on a dog or cat in lieu of sodium pentobarbital for euthanasia purposes.

(3) Shooting may be used in a location other than a shelter 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.

(4) In cases of extraordinary circumstance where a dog or cat poses an extreme risk or danger to the veterinarian, physician, or lay person performing euthanasia, the person is allowed the use of any other substance or procedure that is necessary to perform euthanasia on a dangerous dog or cat.

(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.

(C) Under no circumstance shall a chamber using commercially bottled carbon monoxide gas or other lethal gas or a chamber which causes a change in body oxygen by means of altering atmospheric pressure or which is connected to an internal combustion engine and uses the engine exhaust for euthanasia purposes be permitted.