Lobby Calls on Congress to Prevent D.C. Pest Dumping

By WAMU 88.5
|  Tuesday, Aug 2, 2011  |  Updated 6:53 PM EDT
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Lobby Calls on Congress to Prevent D.C. Pest Dumping

AP

Lobbyists for pest control companies are calling on members of Congress to defund a new law regulating the capture of animals that find their way into D.C. homes.

Everyday, John Adcock, president of Adcock's Trapping Service, transfers squirrels from traps to cages so he can deposit them at nearby parks.

Hopefully they'll find trees and not give anybody else any grief.

Last year, the D.C. Council passed the Wildlife Protection Act.

"The law requires humane treatment of animals," said Council member Mary Cheh, who introduced the bill. "And if you can release the animal, you should release the animal. You shouldn’t use traps that are inhumane. And if you have to euthanize them, you shouldn’t do it in inhumane ways."

But Gene Harrington, of the National Pest Management Association, said the law could force trappers to deposit the animals outside the District.

"In the case of Maryland and Virginia, they have disease concerns," Harrington said. "They certainly don't want to have wildlife brought into their jurisdictions, especially not wildlife that’s known to be rabies vector species."

So his group is calling on Congress to intervene.

"One of the first steps that could be taken is simply defunding the enforcement of the legislation until D.C., Maryland and Virginia officials meet to determine exactly what is going to happen in the District," he said.

But Cheh said there are already laws on the books prohibiting the transport of animals to neighboring states. And she said she's happy to refine the bill through regulations. Cheh said Congress should stay out of it.

"The larger offense is that they’re going through Congress to try to upset a law of the people of the District of Columbia," Cheh said.

Adcock said he's all for home rule, as long as it doesn’t mean animals are ruling area homes.

"We're more concerned about our customers and protecting their welfare and their safety," Adcock said.

Listen to the complete story at wamu.org

Copyright 2011 WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio. All Rights Reserved.

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