SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — A Utah actress is championing a cause close to her heart.

Katherine Heigl joined Sen. Mike McKell (R-Spanish Fork) in introducing a bill that will ban gas chamber euthanasia in animal shelters Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the Utah State Capitol. This marks the 10th legislative session where Utah lawmakers have tried to pass the ban.

Senate Bill 108 addresses euthanization methods in animal shelters and requires shelters to adopt a humane euthanasia policy and training program. The bill mandates that sodium pentobarbital or a derivative shall be the exclusive method for euthanasia. If passed, the requirement will go into effect on July 1, 2023.

“The sign of a civilized society is marked by how we treat the voiceless and innocent,” said Heigl. “We cannot continue the inhumane practice of using gas chambers for animals. I encourage the Legislature to pass S.B. 108 and for all Utahns to support this legislation. Thank you, Sen. McKell, for shedding light on this issue once again. Gas chamber euthanasia needs to end immediately.”

The Grey’s Anatomy star is also the founder of the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, an organization dedicated to animal welfare. She called the gas chambers an “antiquated and brutal method of killing animals” and said an injection, which is usually a sedative called pentobarbital, is comparatively a painless, peaceful and faster process.

“[The injection] is cost-effective and safe,” Heigl said. “There’s nothing about it that makes it more complicated than using gas chambers.”

Utah is one of three states that still euthanize animals in gas chambers, according to McKell. Wyoming and Missouri are the other two states.

“S.B. 108 is a compassionate approach to euthanasia,” said McKell. “Not only are gas chambers more expensive, but they also unnecessarily place staff members at higher risk of injury or death from carbon monoxide gas. Other forms of euthanasia are more humane, cost-effective and safe. Switching to injections just makes sense.”

According to the Utah Animal Rights Coalition, the last facility in Utah using gas chambers is the South Utah Valley Animal Shelter in Spanish Fork. Five out of 3,500 animal shelters in the U.S. use gas chambers, McKell said.

“I don’t like our state being one of the last states to do it when we know there are better options,” McKell said.