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Stepping into the Wild

Amid abuses by private nuisance wildlife firms, shelters have a chance to redefine their role

Amid abuses by private nuisance wildlife firms, shelters have a chance to redefine their role

Some nuisance wildlife control operators have a reputation for mistreating animals, but shelters can spur the industry to raise its standards. JOHN HADIDIAN/THE HSUS
Nicky Ratliff says she’s not trying to interfere with anyone’s business, but if you’re going to work as a nuisance wildlife control operator (NWCO) in her county, you’re going to be careful and do things the humane way.

And if you don’t, Ratliff—the executive director of the Humane Society of Carroll County in Maryland—will write you a warning or slap you with a fine.

Unfortunately, she’s had to resort to those measures more than once. Back in February, for example, a NWCO responding to a homeowner’s request set a humane box trap beneath a birdfeeder that had been attracting a raccoon. The trap caught what’s known in the business as a “nontarget animal”—in this case a squirrel. The NWCO left the trapped squirrel overnight in sub-freezing temperatures, apparently causing the animal to freeze to death.

 Read the full article.

 

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