March 16, 2018

DNR Could Require Animal Control Workers To Kill 'Nuisance Animals'

Mike Meservy shows how he sets a trap to catch an animal without killing it.  - Lindsey Wright/WFIU

Mike Meservy shows how he sets a trap to catch an animal without killing it.

Lindsey Wright/WFIU

Animal control workers could be required to euthanize certain nuisance animals under proposed changes from the Department of Natural Resources.

The fish and wildlife policy change would require workers to kill raccoons, coyotes, and opossums.

Mike Meservy, owner of Advanced Pest Control, has been doing animal control work for 14 years. He says many residents use his service because he traps and relocates most animals. He also questions the morality of such a policy. 

“It’s just heart breaking,” Meservy says. “If you’ve ever had to put down a momma with babies clinging to her fur, and we’re going to have to put them in a box and gas them with, usually it’s with carbon monoxide, but there are other ways and some of them are quite gruesome.”

Meservy says he should be able to choose not to euthanize the animals.

DNR Furbearer Biologist Geriann Albers says animal control operators can opt out of taking those jobs if they’re uncomfortable. 

“If they chose to take a raccoon or coyote job that would be the point where they acknowledge this rule is in place,” Albers says. “We don’t want to move this problem around and this is what the rule states as a have to euthanize this animal and just making that clear to the landowner.”

Albers says the policy wouldn’t have a significant impact and would only be used in rare situations when removal is necessary.

The Indiana Natural Resources commission will most likely take up the policy changes at a meeting in May. Residents can submit public comment online through March 23.

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