SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — A major victory is being celebrated by The Humane Society of Utah this week as Governor Spencer Cox signed a bill on Friday, Mar. 17, that ends the use of gas chambers in animal shelters.

With the signing of this bill, S.B. 108, there are now only two U.S. states remaining with active gas chambers — Missouri and Wyoming.

According to a press release by the Humane Society of the United States, gas chamber deaths are considered unreasonably cruel as they can be terrifying and torturous for animals.

In addition to cruelty to animals, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association and most other organizations have condemned their use, as they also endanger shelter staff with the potential for injury, including accidental gas inhalation.

In the press release, it’s stated that actor Katherine Heigl helped to champion the issue with the Utah state director, Sundays Hunt, and their lobbyist Steve Hiatt.

Hunt, who’s been leading the efforts since 2014, shared her thoughts on the bill by stating: “This victory is a testament to our years of constant, steady work educating Utahans, bringing together powerful voices like Senator Michael McKell and Katherine Heigl, and never giving up this fight for our state companion animals that deserve humane treatment throughout their lives and certainly at the end.”