Department of State Health Services

Proposes New Animal Euthanasia Rules


The Texas Department of State Health Services has recently proposed rules implementing Senate Bill 360, which relates to animal euthanasia and passed during the recent legislative session.  The bill prohibits an animal shelter from euthanizing a dog or cat by administering compressed carbon monoxide and requires the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission, rather than the State Board of Health, to adopt rules not later than December 1, 2013, regarding the use of compressed carbon monoxide to euthanize animals other than dogs or cats. The bill became effective immediately, but enforcement will not begin until January 2014.   

The proposed rules required by this legislation appeared in the Texas Register on August 23, 2013. These rules reflect the prohibition on using compressed carbon monoxide on dogs and cats.  The proposed rules also place additional euthanasia requirements on animal shelters, including a requirement that animals be euthanized in a “quiet” place and away from other animals.  

Public comment will be taken until September 22, 2013.  Comments can be sent to Tom Sidwa, DVM, MPH, Department of State Health Services, Infectious Disease Prevention Section, Zoonosis Control Branch, Mail Code 1956, P.O. Box 149347, Austin, Texas 78714-9347 or by email to  

If you have questions about the new rules, please contact Laura Mueller in the TML Legal Department at (512) 231-7400 or


TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League.

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