Screwed Up

October 4, 2010

Take from wtop:

As local lawmakers struggle with budget cuts, health care issues and easing traffic congestion, they’re also working on other legislation – like protecting families of rats and squirrels.
D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh (Ward 3) introduced the Wildlife Protection Act, which would require people who trap wild animals that get into your house – like rats, mice, squirrels, possums – to follow basic humanitarian guidelines.

According to the Wildlife Protection Act of 2009:

A wildlife control operator shall make every reasonable effort to preserve family units using humane eviction and/or displacement and reunion strategies. Wildlife captured by a wildlife control operator may be held in captivity for up to 72 hours when reunion attempts are employed. A wildlife control operator shall not knowingly abandon dependent young in a structure.

But one part of the bill had reporters asking a lot of questions at D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray’s monthly press briefing.

“If I have some squirrels or some possums in my attic, I’m not frankly concerned about preserving their family unit. Moreover, how can I identify what their family unit is? This is in the bill!” government watchdog Dorothy Brizill asked.

The D.C. Council will vote on the Wildlife Protection Act on Tuesday.

Gray would not say how he is going to vote on the bill.

Cheh has not yet responded to calls from WTOP.

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