D.C. Passes Wildlife Protection Act

Gillian Lyons

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.

8 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Pace Law Library and Animal Blawg, Ashlee. Ashlee said: RT @animalblawg: D.C. Passes Wildlife Protection Act http://bit.ly/9kOfIh […]

  2. Questions: how can the act not cover rats and mice but prohibit glue traps? Does the act just not disapprove of pest control people killing and separating rodent families?

    This is cool. I agree good job D.C.

    How will this WPA be enforced? Are we supposed to rely on the good natured Orkin man and Terminexinator?

    I do not understand why everyone hates Opossums. First, they are cute as hell. Second, their natural diet consists of weeds, rats, mice, and snakes. Beings, even all animal lovers hate. Personally, my favorite Opossum is the Brazilian Short Tailed Opossum. So cute.

  3. Unfortunately, glue traps are also used to catch birds, so the prohibition applies to those uses.

    As for enforcement, it seems that pest control officers have to keep records of each case they handle and how they dealt with the situation. They are required to submit the records, as well as to keep them on hand for inspection. And I’m assuming because they are to be re-licensed every year, and the license requires that they comply with the Act- that if they don’t comply they aren’t re-liscened. (Of course I recognize all this is best case scenario.)

    As for why everyone hates opossums, I’m not sure- they are cute. I may not be the best person to ask, however, having grown up with a pet rat.

  4. I think its not good to prohibit glue traps as well as snap traps alone.The act would be more effective if it includes the rodents also as a part of pest control.

  5. I think it was a really great choice to do that.

  6. We should relocate all of the vermin to all the animal nuts houses who think this kind of law is a good idea.

  7. I’m with you SuperNat! These people are N U T S; have they never heard of rabies in wild animals? Yes, let the cute opossum bite someone or a pet dog or cat and then suffer as they are infected with rabies. That is so very humane.

  8. It’s hard to find educated people in this particular subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

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