D.C.'s wildlife protection law in danger

Wildlife protection law could be in danger. (Photo: Flickr/ingridtaylar)

Several months ago Southeast D.C. resident Grant Stovall realized he had a family of raccoons in his attic.

"I used to [think ...] someone was upstairs before I found out it was raccoons," Stovall said.

At first the critters stayed in one spot, but as they got older they started tearing up things, he said.

So he called the Humane Society. John Griffith, a pest control specialist, responded.

Griffith installed a one-way gate that let the racoons out, but not back in. The video shows how both mom and babies left safely.

"They're not harming the animal and it's effective," Stovall said. "I couldn't ask for a better situation."

But a lobby is working to lift the regulations of safe animal removal practices.

The Pest Control Lobby has begun pushing Congress to defund the District's Wildlife Protection Act, which regulates pest control companies. The current act prevents the companies from using practices like drowning or injecting animals with nail polish remover.

Those methods have been used by the wildlife industry before, Griffith said. "It's just completely unnecessary -- there's a better way."

In the past, some pest control companies would kill the animal but not close the hole the animal used to get into the house, said Ben Eisler, a Southeast D.C. resident. Thus, "animals might use the hole to get in and [the pest control company's] services would be needed again.

"Consumers get really taken advantage of when the entry points themselves aren't closed up, " Griffith said.

{ }