Virginia Up In Arms Over DC Rats – We Don’t Want ‘Em!
Here's a story that more than likely will give all of us here in Wyoming a little chuckle. Did you know that pest control officers in Washington, D.C., can't simply exterminate nuisance rats?
It's true! As a matter of fact, when vanquishing the vermin, officers must comply with the Wildlife Protection Act of 2010. It states that the offending rodents must be captured (preferably in families...good luck with that), and then relocated. Using a glue or snap trap is illegal too. It even says...pardon my laughter...that the rats might need to be placed with a "wildlife rehabilitator" as part of the relocation process.
I guess that's sort of like a rat shrink. All I know is that with all of the rats in D.C., they're going to have their hands full!
Okay, so while Washington basks in all of it's PC feel-goodiness, nearby Virginia feels like it's getting the short end of the Potomac. That's because in order to try and ensure that the rats won't return, they need to be relocated at least 25 miles away, and officials plan to do just that by dumping (or gently placing them) across the river in Virginia.
The Virginia Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli puts it all into perspective for us:
“So we have real concerns about this ridiculous--ridiculous!--law and we’ve been pretty genial about dealing with D.C. on it,” said Cuccinelli. “But when you see an article like the ‘Rats Occupy Occupy DC,’ it points up the problem that we’re going to have in Virginia because of that--and because D.C’s really outrageous--outrageous!--treatment of these varmints who, for those who don’t remember their history, carried things like bubonic plague. I mean, these are true vermin.”
Other animals such as raccoons, squirrels, and other wild animals would also have to be treated in the same humane manner. H'oh, boy...
Some of the law’s rules state (Wildlife Protection Act of 2010.pdf):
… (c) Traps used by a wildlife control services provider shall be set in a manner designed to catch the target animal and in the manner likely to avoid capture of and harm to non-target animals.
(d) Wildlife shall be captured, handled, and, when permissible, transported, in a manner to ensure against causing unnecessary discomfort, behavioral stress, or physical harm to the animal, including providing protections against weather extremes.
... (f) Captured non-target wildlife shall be released immediately at the site of capture. Captured non-target wildlife that pose an unreasonable risk to the health and safety to persons or domestic animals or that are injured and need veterinary care and rehabilitation shall:
(1) With permission of the property owner, be relocated to a suitable location where nuisance problems are unlikely to occur;
(2) Transferred to a wildlife rehabilitator, if the animal is sick, injured, or abandoned; or
(3) Euthanized if relocation or rehabilitation are not feasible.
(g) Captured target wildlife shall be:
(1) Released at the site of capture;
(2) With permission of the property owner, be relocated to a safe location where nuisance problems are unlikely to occur;
(3) Transferred to a wildlife rehabilitator, if the animal is sick, injured, or
(4) If none of the other options are feasible, euthanized.
... (i) A wildlife control services provider shall make every reasonable effort to preserve family units using humane eviction or displacement and reunion strategies and shall not knowingly abandon dependent young wildlife in a structure.
... (k) Captured wildlife shall be transported in covered, secure containers in such a way as to:
(1) Minimize stress to the animal and its exposure to the elements by covering the trap or vehicle with appropriate material;
(2) Ensure that the covering is of such material that the animal has an adequate supply of air to prevent overheating; and
(3) Minimize potential hazards to the general public.
(l) A wildlife control services provider shall not use sticky or glue traps to control any wildlife.