(Atlanta-AP) March 14, 2007 - Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin said Wednesday he does not have the authority to tell animal shelters what method they can use to euthanize stray animals.
Irvin told The Associated Press Wednesday that although he is responsible for regulating animal shelters, the issue of how to euthanize them is a local one.
Irvin says he has been advised that he cannot stop someone from using the methods they choose to put animals to sleep.
Irvin's comments were in response to a lawsuit filed in Fulton County Superior Court. The lawsuit accused him and his department of illegally allowing dogs and cats to be put to death in carbon monoxide gas chambers, a practice that was outlawed in Georgia in 1990.
The lawsuit was filed by former state Representative Chesley Morton of DeKalb County and a former Humane Socity employee, Jennifer Robinson.
The plaintiffs' attorney - Walter Bush - calls Irvin's position "amazing."