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VA AG Fears DC Law May Relocate Rehabilitated Rat Families To Virginia
CNS News ^ | 1-13-12 | Christopher Goins

Posted on 01/13/2012 7:23:11 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic

CNSNews.com) -- Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says he is worried that a new District of Columbia law that governs how pest control operators must handle rats may result in entire rodent “families” being relocated across the Potomac River into Virginia by D.C. pest control personnel.

Lately, there have been reports of growing rat infestations around the Occupy DC protests at Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square.

Cuccinelli said D.C.'s new rat law--the Wildlife Protection Act of 2010 (Wildlife Protection Act of 2010.pdf) --is “crazier than fiction” because it requires that rats and other vermin not be killed but captured, preferably in families; no glue or snap traps can be utilized; the rodents must be relocated from where they are captured; and some of these animals may need to be transferred to a “wildlife rehabilitator” as part of their relocation process.

The law does not allow pest control professionals “to kill the dang rats,” Cuccinelli told CNSNews.com. “They have to capture them--then capture them in families. [Not sure] how you’re going to figure that out with rats. And then you have to relocate them. That brings us to Virginia. Now, if you don’t relocate them about 25 miles away, according to experts, rodents will find their way back. Well, an easy way to solve that problem is to cross a river, and what’s on the other side of the river? Virginia.”

“So we have real concerns about this ridiculous--ridiculous!--law and we’ve been pretty genial about dealing with D.C. on it,” said Cuccinelli. “But when you see an article like the ‘Rats Occupy Occupy DC,’ it points up the problem that we’re going to have in Virginia because of that--and because D.C’s really outrageous--outrageous!--treatment of these varmints who, for those who don’t remember their history, carried things like bubonic plague. I mean, these are true vermin.”

While the law exempts “commensal rodents”--varieties of which most people know (or have seen) as common rats or house mice--the rice rat and deer mouse, which are found in the District, are not defined as commensal and apparently are not exempt from the law. In addition, the new law expands the definition of wildlife and sets the rules for handling it to include raccoons, squirrels, skunks, and other animals that can carry disease, such as rabies. The law applies to trained animal control officers, not to homeowners.

The law (Wildlife Protection Act of 2010.pdf) specifically says that wildlife “shall include any free-roaming wild animal, but shall not include: (A) Domestic animals; (B) Commensal rodents; (C) Invertebrates; and (D) Fish." Commensal rats include the House mouse (Mus musculus), the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus), and the Roof rat (Rattus rattus).

In an e-mail to CNSNews.com, Brian Gottstein, communications director for Attorney General Cuccinelli, said, “While certain commensal rodents are exempted from the law, the rice rat and the deer mouse are species that wildlife control experts note are within the District that are NOT defined as commensal rodents, so they would appear not to be exempt from the law.”

“In addition to these particular rats and mice, raccoons, squirrels, skunks and other animals known to carry rabies, Lyme disease, and other diseases are not exempt from the law,” said Gottstein.

Gene Harrington, governmental affairs director for the National Pest Management Association, told CNSNews.com in an e-mail that he could not say “with any degree of accuracy how prevalent the deer and white-footed mouse and rice rat are in the District” but “that the largest deer and white-footed mouse populations likely live in Rock Creek Park, and that during the colder months they make their way into homes and other structures near or adjacent to the Park.” He later said that the deer and white-footed mice would likely be found in Ft. Dupont Park, the National Zoo, and the surrounding properties in D.C.

Harrington further said, “I suspect once the Occupy DC protesters eventually leave there will be an overly aggressive squirrel population that has gotten too used to being fed by humans. Under the Wildlife Protection Act, the only legal method pest and wildlife management professionals can use to manage these squirrels will be to live-trap them. Since the squirrels will associate humans with food there is really no place to relocate them where they would not eventually become a nuisance.”

“Also, keep in mind that a pest management professional's use of snap traps at the Occupy DC camps to control the rats comes with its own legal pitfalls because squirrels or chipmunks could be attracted to the same peanut butter put out for the (Norway) rats,” said Harrington.

He continued, “Basically, federal and local government regulations have tied legal District rodent control practices in knots and made the management of such a problem much more complicated than it should be.”

The Wildlife Protection Act was sponsored by D.C. City Council Member Mary M. Cheh. It was introduced in 2009, passed in December 2010 and went into effect in March 2011.

Some of the law’s rules state (Wildlife Protection Act of 2010.pdf):

… (c) Traps used by a wildlife control services provider shall be set in a manner designed to catch the target animal and in the manner likely to avoid capture of and harm to non-target animals.

(d) Wildlife shall be captured, handled, and, when permissible, transported, in a manner to ensure against causing unnecessary discomfort, behavioral stress, or physical harm to the animal, including providing protections against weather extremes.

... (f) Captured non-target wildlife shall be released immediately at the site of capture. Captured non-target wildlife that pose an unreasonable risk to the health and safety to persons or domestic animals or that are injured and need veterinary care and rehabilitation shall:

(1) With permission of the property owner, be relocated to a suitable location where nuisance problems are unlikely to occur;

(2) Transferred to a wildlife rehabilitator, if the animal is sick, injured, or abandoned; or

(3) Euthanized if relocation or rehabilitation are not feasible.

(g) Captured target wildlife shall be:

(1) Released at the site of capture;

(2) With permission of the property owner, be relocated to a safe location where nuisance problems are unlikely to occur;

(3) Transferred to a wildlife rehabilitator, if the animal is sick, injured, or abandoned; or

(4) If none of the other options are feasible, euthanized.

... (i) A wildlife control services provider shall make every reasonable effort to preserve family units using humane eviction or displacement and reunion strategies and shall not knowingly abandon dependent young wildlife in a structure.

... (k) Captured wildlife shall be transported in covered, secure containers in such a way as to: (1) Minimize stress to the animal and its exposure to the elements by covering the trap or vehicle with appropriate material;

(2) Ensure that the covering is of such material that the animal has an adequate supply of air to prevent overheating; and

(3) Minimize potential hazards to the general public. (l) A wildlife control services provider shall not use sticky or glue traps to control any wildlife.

“This is one of those real-life-is-crazier-than-fiction laws D.C. has passed,” Cuccinelli told CNSNews.com. “I found out about it because our pest control people in Virginia were very concerned …. [A]nd I’ll tell you, the order of required dealing with these rats, raccoons, and various vermin of all types is you are now only allowed to trap them alive. No more glue traps. No more crushing traps. No more snap traps. Nothing like that. Now remember, these are mice, rats, raccoons, vermin.”

“And then your options are to release them on site,” he said, adding, “Oh yeah, that makes a lot of sense.”

Or animal control can “relocate” the rats, said the attorney general, or “transfer them to a wildlife rehabilitator--I kid you not!--a wildlife rehabilitator, or last and least, you can kill them but only with things like a relatively high-tech gas chamber, other nonmembers, methods-- excuse me--that are just outrageously expensive.”

When asked what a wildlife rehabilitator is, Cuccinelli said, “That’s a darn good question! But I understand, if there are any functioning in D.C., there are darn few of them. And I’m not aware that there are any.”

“These are creatures [rats, mice] that carry pestilence,” said Cuccinelli. “And in Fairfax and in Loudoun, Prince William, we have a really bad, really long-term and tremendous outbreak in Lyme disease. And that’s something you get from ticks carried on deer, as well as these other vermin. I wouldn’t put deer in the vermin category but those are the kinds of public health hazards that come along with these creatures.”

Squirrel. (AP Photo)

Commenting on further aspects of the law, Cuccinelli said that D.C. Councilwoman Mary Cheh had “sided with rats over human health.”

CNSNews.com also asked Cuccinelli, “Are you concerned at all that rats are pretty much a protected species in D.C.?”

He said: “Absolutely. And that’s a good way to put it. So are raccoons. So are squirrels. I’m not as worried about the squirrels as I am the rats and the raccoons because they’re—the rats in particular breed like crazy and they carry such pestilence and disease—it’s a very bad situation not just for D.C. but for those of us, given how small D.C. is, that border it.”

When CNSNews.com called the attorney general’s office for the District of Columbia, the communications office there said it was unfamiliar with the new rat law.

D.C. Council Member Mary M. Cheh (AP Photo)

In another e-mail to CNSNews.com, Gene Harrington, with the National Pest Management Association, said D.C.’s Wildlife Protection Act “is the perfect example of lawmakers putting special interest concerns and goals above those of its citizens. It is not as if there was an issue with cats getting caught in rodent snap traps or on non-toxic snake glue boards. Rather, the law was passed in the form it was because it had to meet the pure doctrine of the Humane Society of the United States and that ideology dictates that lethal control methods should never be utilized, regardless of whether the animal in question is Willard the Rat, Carl the Copperhead, or Bambi the Deer.”

In addition to the practical challenges that the new law poses, Harrington said that EPA regulations on rodent pesticides could conflict with the Wildlife Protect Act.

“As for the rat infestations at the Occupy DC camps, treatment of those problems is also made more difficult by new EPA restrictions prohibiting the use of rodenticide products further than 50 feet from buildings,” he told CNSNews.com by e-mail. “The new EPA restrictions also limit the use of rodenticides to commensal rodents, so the only [way] pest management professionals can legally manage non-commensal rodents, such as deer and white-footed mice in the District, is to live-capture them or build a completely rodent-proof structure."

"Live capturing these mice species brings its own risks for pest control operators because of diseases transmitted by such rodents and having to handle the pests," said Harrington.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: cheh; dc; dcratlaw; families; hsus; ratlaw; ratrehabilitation; rats; rehabilitatedrats; wildlife
"I'm from the government, and I'm here to help!"

Just unbelievable.

1 posted on 01/13/2012 7:23:19 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic; SJackson

Does this qualify for your outdoors ping list?


2 posted on 01/13/2012 7:24:29 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

LOL! I thought he was afraid a lot of DemocRATs would be moving to VA from DC.


3 posted on 01/13/2012 7:24:59 PM PST by DLfromthedesert
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Maybe the Plague will knock some sense into the idiots in D.C.


4 posted on 01/13/2012 7:25:29 PM PST by marty60
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Release them in the Capitol Building.


5 posted on 01/13/2012 7:25:47 PM PST by null and void (Day 1087 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: DLfromthedesert

I thought the same thing, at first. But this is even worse. And then the hoops she has the pest control people jump through.


6 posted on 01/13/2012 7:28:49 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

How dumb can the District of Columbia be. Can you imagine folks running around the park trying to catch all the rats? The overtime hours racked up etc. My head hurts.


7 posted on 01/13/2012 7:30:11 PM PST by formosa (Formosa)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Congresscritter Protection Act.


8 posted on 01/13/2012 7:31:10 PM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Quit whining VA. They could be re-locating the rats and their two legged cousins.


9 posted on 01/13/2012 7:44:45 PM PST by RetiredTexasVet (There's a pill for just about everything ... except stupid!)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Just relocate the captured rats to the DC city council building. Nothing new, that building has been infested with Rats for as long as I can remember.

Mark

10 posted on 01/13/2012 7:47:40 PM PST by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
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To: DLfromthedesert
What we need is for our Republican party big dogs ~ The Cooch, McDonnell, Bolling, Mullins and their fellow connivers to go out to the bridges and shoot rats.

Show they can be useful for once.

11 posted on 01/13/2012 7:50:23 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: afraidfortherepublic

surely there are Chinese restaurants in DC????


12 posted on 01/13/2012 7:58:30 PM PST by stefanbatory (Insert witty tagline here)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Sure this wasn’t from the Onion?


13 posted on 01/13/2012 8:00:10 PM PST by Enten (How's that hopey changey thing been working out for you?)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Solution: since the law only applies to the control officers, it will be up to private citizens to set snap traps and put out poison at every home in VA. That should pretty well take care of the problem. We are going to learn to go around the stupid government and take care of ourselves.


14 posted on 01/13/2012 8:02:01 PM PST by WVNan (!)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Northern VA is the *perfect* place to relocate the rats.

They’ll feel right at home.


15 posted on 01/13/2012 8:02:27 PM PST by Salamander (You don't know what's going on inside of me. You don't wanna know what's running through my mind.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Perhaps rats, ground squirrels and mice from NM could be captured and humanely released in DC.

What could go wrong? Besides the bubonic plague thing.

Silly to talk about bio-warfare between states of the US in the 21st century, but if someone in 100BC got caught importing live rats into Rome, the rats would be snuffed, and there would be a spectacle at the collosium later this evening.

/johnny

16 posted on 01/13/2012 8:02:54 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: MarkL

I was thinking Maryland - already full of rats.


17 posted on 01/13/2012 8:04:01 PM PST by satan (Plumbing new depths of worthlessness on a daily basis.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

This is satire, right?


18 posted on 01/13/2012 8:04:52 PM PST by NonValueAdded ("At a time like this, we can't afford the luxury of thinking!")
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To: stefanbatory

EEEEEEWWWWWWWUUUUUU


19 posted on 01/13/2012 8:07:15 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Looks like the Virginia legislature will have to make it a crime to transport rats into the Commonwealth.


20 posted on 01/13/2012 8:10:16 PM PST by freespirited
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To: afraidfortherepublic
When I was a kid my grandfather bought a farm that had been let go by the former owner. The barn was rat central. He was kind enough to take me there and furnish me with a brick of .22 short hollow points and let me shoot rats all day. What a great guy! He never let me whitewash that fence, tho.
21 posted on 01/13/2012 8:10:37 PM PST by CrazyIvan (Obama's birth certificate was found stapled to Soros's receipt.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

When necessary a mouse trap works perfectly dealing out a swift and permanent final solution to any mice and a few rats at the Nana house...

Come and get me, G-Man...


22 posted on 01/13/2012 8:20:09 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I know some reptile farms, er, ecosystems where the rats would be welcome guests.


23 posted on 01/13/2012 8:26:30 PM PST by Born to Conserve
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To: DLfromthedesert

Willard is going to take care of those rats when he gets to DC!/s;)


24 posted on 01/13/2012 8:29:36 PM PST by Frank_2001
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To: afraidfortherepublic
congressional RATS should go too...

25 posted on 01/13/2012 8:29:59 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: satan
"I was thinking Maryland - already full of rats."

Maryland -- completely overrun by RATS.

26 posted on 01/13/2012 8:37:22 PM PST by StormEye
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To: All

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27 posted on 01/13/2012 8:38:19 PM PST by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: Salamander

#15: re rats in No. Va. I have 5 cats. My driveway was littered with dead mice today. A couple rats, last week.

The racoon has been around for over 10 years and his predecessors for the past 25 years, along with a nice possum. Chipmunks aren’t here due to the cats, but they do catch moles and voles, and ocassionally a neighborhood kid.

The snake is very happy.

The squirrels usually stay “high” in the trees and fences. The snake is not happy. There goes my neighbor’s white rat dog. Less noise pollution.

Now about that speeder the other day. Let’s see. My son’s K9 is hungry. Yes, we have a solution.

Bon appetit.

Re Cheh and her law. She’s the rat. Downtown DC from Pennsylvania Ave NW between 9th to 6th is loaded with them, in alleys, on the main and side streets, under trees and in gardens, etc. And those are just the DemoRats. The gray critters are also everywhere but at least they can’t vote.


28 posted on 01/13/2012 8:47:41 PM PST by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
My wife's falconry dog was a very nice Jack Russell terrier. Roof rats invaded my neighborhood. A neighbor put poison out for the rats. The Jack Russell got one of the poisoned rats and died. The dead rat responsible was found along the fence line a few feet away.

We don't use poison. Our Rat Terriers get the job done quickly and efficiently. We have a Jack Russell/Rat Terrier cross too. He is fast as lightning.

29 posted on 01/13/2012 8:59:11 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: DLfromthedesert

I thought this article was about the VA Primary, where only Romney and Paul qualified. No kidding.


30 posted on 01/13/2012 9:03:12 PM PST by Lauren BaRecall (I declare for Santorum)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Let me see if I have this right.

Rats in DC can’t be slain and must be relocated as a family.

According to the ‘experts’ it is unconstitutional to require an ID to vote.

So we can pass laws to make sure the ‘rat family’ stays together but not make sure one is eligible to vote.

Will the ‘rat family’ have a vote?

Guess shouldn’t give the idiots any ideas.


31 posted on 01/13/2012 9:06:42 PM PST by xrmusn ((6/98) EGOIST - A person of low taste, more interested in himself than me. A. Bierce)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

This would make a great example for Newt to bring up in his debates. LOLOL!!!!!


32 posted on 01/13/2012 9:47:23 PM PST by sheikdetailfeather ("Kick The Communists Out Of Your Govt. And Don't Accept Their Goodies"-Yuri Bezmenov-KGB Defector)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Rehabilitator? Even rats get Obamacare. I must admit I'm not surprised.
33 posted on 01/13/2012 10:07:13 PM PST by WePledge (Ich werde fur immer ein Hollenhund werden. Semper Fidelis)
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To: afraidfortherepublic; Salamander

Cats! Dogs!


34 posted on 01/14/2012 1:09:37 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Not surprising. I remember well the “Ho Walk” across the 14th St. Bridge a number of years back.

So this is in line with past DC practice.


35 posted on 01/14/2012 1:34:53 AM PST by tanknetter
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Rat families.............misinterpreted the article.
36 posted on 01/14/2012 4:24:03 AM PST by ronnie raygun (V)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Whew this caught me off guard at first because I thought they were speaking of relocating democratic families. I had already called a friend of mine whose family resides in the D.C. area and told him that if he needed to bunk up for a few days in Tenn. he would be more than welcome but just for a few days and he told me to read the whole article and they were speaking of varmint’s. I was so embarassed.


37 posted on 01/14/2012 7:11:52 AM PST by lacey3900
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To: formosa
How dumb can the District of Columbia be.

We keep wondering that, and just when we think they've done the dumbest thing possible they keep managing to find something even dumber.

38 posted on 01/14/2012 7:22:05 AM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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