Code of the District of Columbia

§ 8–2202. Wildlife control service providers.

(a) A wildlife control services provider shall recommend and employ nonlethal means in preference to lethal means for the control of problem wildlife.

(b) All traps and exclusion devices used by a wildlife control services provider shall be labeled with the name, address, and phone number of the wildlife control service provider.

(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.

(e) All traps shall be checked by the wildlife control services provider in a timely and reasonable manner, but no more than 24 hours after being set, and at least once every 24 hours thereafter; provided, that traps shall be checked more frequently if environmental conditions require.

(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.

(h) Wildlife expressing symptoms of disease shall be taken to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or surrendered to the Animal Care and Control Agency for evaluation and assessment. Outbreaks or potential widespread occurrence of suspect diseases, such as avian botulism, shall be reported to the Department.

(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.

(j) Wildlife shall not be kept in captivity longer than 36 hours unless specifically authorized by the Department or unless reunion attempts are being employed. In the case of attempted reunion, a wildlife control services provider may hold wildlife in captivity for up to 72 hours.

(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.

(m) A wildlife control services provider shall not use leghold and other body-gripping traps, body-crushing traps, snares, or harpoon-type traps to control any wildlife.

(n) A wildlife control services provider shall kill wildlife only by methods that conform to the most recently published Report of the American Veterinary Medical Association Panel on Euthanasia, unless otherwise prohibited by this chapter or rules promulgated by the Department.

(o) A wildlife control services provider shall use the available method of euthanasia that is the quickest, least stressful, and least painful to the animal under the circumstances.


(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 3, 57 DCR 11499; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008, 61 DCR 9990.)

Editor's Notes

Former § 8-2202 has been recodified as § 8-2032.