Earlier this week, the D.C. City Council unanimously passed B18-498, the Wildlife Protection Act. You may be wondering exactly what type of wildlife resides within the limits of the District of Columbia and the answer, inevitably, is various species that the human species unfortunately views as “pests.” Many of these species fall under B18-498’s protections.
In effect, B18-498 regulates pest control companies operating within city limits, imposing on these companies certain humane treatment standards for the animals they are called upon to control. For instance, the Act prohibits glue traps, as well as snare/snap traps; it prohibits lethal measures that are not approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association; it requires that trapped injured animals be taken to rehabilitation centers; and, it mandates that pest control officers attempt to reunite mothers with their young and keep family units in tact when trapping (and hopefully releasing) animals. The Act also requires those working in the “pest control” industry to be trained and licensed.
The downfalls of the Act are that while it calls for relocation of captured animals, due to various considerations such relocation will not be a likely occurrence. Furthermore, the Act does not apply to homeowners who are still free to use glue and snap traps- or who are, as one Councilwoman sadly noted, free to wield a bat and smash a possum in the head. Moreover, while the Act applies to various species such as the raccoon, possum, pigeon and squirrel, it does not serve to protect mice and rats.
While the bill obviously has a few deficiencies, it is definite progress, and I for one applaud the D.C. Council for passing it.
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: | American Veterinary Medical Association, animal abuse, animal cpntrol, animal rights, animal suffering, animal welfare, animals, B18-498: Wildlife Protection Act, environmental law, glue traps, pest control, snare/snap traps, trapping, Washington D.C., Washington D.C. City Council, wildlife, wildlife law, wildlife protection