The National Pest Management Association Strongly Opposes Passage of "Wildlife Protection Act" in Washington, DC

FAIRFAX, Va. (November 4, 2010)As the D.C. Council prepares to cast a final vote on the "Wildlife Protection Act," on Tuesday, November 9, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) expresses its clear opposition to the bill.

If passed, the legislation would prohibit wildlife management professionals from employing invaluable tools to control nuisance wildlife. Further, the legislation would require the release of nuisance wildlife by professionals at the site of capture or would require the relocation of the animal to "a safe location where problems are unlikely to occur," a difficult to impossible task in a jurisdiction as small as the District and a provision about which the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Wildlife Society have expressed reservations. These restrictions would make necessary professional wildlife management services cost-prohibitive for local residents and increase the risk of an outbreak of rabies and other wildlife related diseases.

"The 'Wildlife Protection Act,' being considered by the D.C. Council, does not account for the real threats posed by nuisance wildlife to the citizens of the District," said Gene Harrington, director of government affairs for NPMA. "The restrictions placed upon wildlife management professionals in the current bill will not only hinder professionals from exercising proper and expert treatment options but, may also cause the very results that the legislation seeks to prevent, specifically the inhumane treatment of nuisance wildlife by untrained individuals."

Harrington continues, "Although NPMA agrees with the provisions for licensing and minimum competency standards for wildlife management professionals, the bill's efforts to limit or eliminate widely accepted tools used to remove intruding animals is of serious concern. Nuisance wildlife can bite, peck or claw human beings if threatened and also, transmit disease. These threats cannot be taken lightly, which the proposed legislation does. We ask the D.C. Council to defeat or set aside the measure as it is currently proposed until a more common-sense bill can be developed and passed."

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The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property.