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Beware, Before You Trap Animals

Animal trapping

The other day I was told by a resident that someone from City’s Animal control came over to his house to do a search of animal trapping. The resident said he was surprised by this “uninvited” visit, and said they couldn’t find any thing “illegal” activity in his backyard.

Regardless of the background, this incident should remind us our responsibilities to know the rules surrounding animal trapping in the city.

First, it is illegal to trap wildlife without a permit it is also a fine of $350.00 for the first offense, also it is illegal to shoot squirrels with a BB gun in residential areas and this carries a fine of $125.00.

Trapping most wildlife requires a permit from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR). The ACO currently holds a Wildlife Damage Control Operator’s Permit through the MD DNR.  The ACO will trap wildlife at his/her own discretion.  The ACO will not trap wildlife outside unless the animal is posing a direct threat to public safety.

Trapping is often a source of controversy because trapped animals must be either euthanized or relocated.  Moving an animal to a more “wild” area may sound like a good idea, but relocated animals typically have a lower rate of survival due to an inability to find new food sources and den sites.  For more information on trapping read “Think Before You Trap

Many wildlife problems can be dealt with by taking simple measures, usually involving the removal of the wildlife “attractant” such as securing accessible trash cans or doing away with pet food left outside.  Other wildlife problem-solving tactics require trial and error and occasionally must result in the removal of the animal.  The Animal Control Officer can provide you with information and/or literature on how to solve a variety of wildlife problems.

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