The following D.C. statutes provide the legal requirements for wildlife control service providers, which are defined as operators of businesses which involve the charging of a fee for services in wildlife control. Specifically, these statutes provide provisions about capturing target animals and non-target animals, as well as indicating how often a wildlife control service providers must check their traps.
Chapter 22. Wildlife Protection.
§ 8-2201. Definitions.
§ 8-2202. Wildlife control service providers.
§ 8-2203. Notice to clients.
§ 8-2204. Wildlife control operator license. [Not funded]
§ 8-2205. General wildlife control operator license conditions. [Not funded]
§ 8-2206. Control of specific species. [Not funded]
§ 8-2207. Service records and annual reports. [Not funded]
§ 8-2208. Suspension or revocation of license. [Not funded]
§ 8-2209. Fees. [Not funded]
§ 8-2210. Complaints.
§ 8-2211. Enforcement.
§ 8-2212. Applicability. [Repealed]
For the purposes of this chapter, the term:
(1) “Animal Care and Control Agency” means the agency established by § 8-1802.
(2) “Department” means the Department of Energy and Environment.
(3) “Director” means the Director of the Department of Energy and Environment.
(4) “Licensed wildlife rehabilitator” means a wildlife rehabilitator licensed in any state or the District.
(5) “Wildlife” shall include any free-roaming wild animal, but shall not include:
(A) Domestic animals;
(B) Commensal rodents;
(C) Invertebrates; and
(6) “Wildlife control” means to harass, repel, evict, exclude, possess, transport, liberate, reunite, rehome, take, euthanize, or kill wildlife.
(7) “Wildlife control operator” means a person who is licensed to perform wildlife control services under § 8-2204, but shall not include the Animal Care and Control Agency or a property manager as defined by § 47-2853.141.
(8) “Wildlife control services provider” means the operator of a business which involves the charging of a fee for services in wildlife control.
(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 2, 57 DCR 11499; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 6002(a), 63 DCR 10775.)
(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.)
Before undertaking any control measures, a wildlife control services provider shall provide to the client, in writing, the following:
(1) An assessment of the problem, including identification of possible causes of the problem;
(2) The methods and practices that may be used to resolve the problem, clearly specifying possible lethal and nonlethal means;
(3) Agreed-upon disposition of the animal;
(4) An estimate of the fee to be charged; and
(5) Where applicable, the methods and practices which the client may employ in the future to limit recurrence of the problem.
(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 4, 57 DCR 11499.)
(a) The Department shall implement a licensing program for wildlife control operators. After the program is implemented, a wildlife control operator shall not engage in the business of providing wildlife control services unless the person is licensed to do so under this chapter.
(b) The Director may deny a license if the Director has a reasonable belief that issuing a license to the applicant would pose a threat:
(1) To public health or safety; or
(2) Of cruelty to animals.
(c) The Director shall deny a license if the applicant has been convicted of an offense involving wildlife or cruelty to animals within the previous 10 years.
(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 5, 57 DCR 11499.)
(a) To obtain a wildlife control operator license, an applicant shall:
(1) Be at least 18 years of age;
(2) Complete a wildlife control operator training class approved by the Department;
(3) Pass an examination approved by the Department;
(4) Pay a fee in an amount specified by the Department; and
(5) Comply with all additional licensing requirements established by the Department.
(b) A wildlife control operator may perform wildlife control only for wildlife that are designated on his or her license.
(c) The Department shall identify, by rule, the species of wildlife that may be controlled and specify the methods that may be used to control each species.
(d) Wildlife, or parts thereof, shall not be sold, bartered, traded, given to another person, or retained for any purpose; provided, that an animal may be given to a wildlife rehabilitator, veterinarian, or animal control officer for rehabilitation or euthanasia.
(e) The Department may, by rule, establish:
(1) Minimum liability insurance requirements for wildlife control operators to ensure protection of District residents; and
(2) Additional licensing requirements for wildlife rehabilitators.
(f) A wildlife control operator license shall not be transferable.
(g) A wildlife control operator license shall be renewed biennially.
(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 6, 57 DCR 11499.)
(a) The use of any toxicant to control pigeons, European starlings, or house sparrows shall be prohibited. The Department may limit the use of toxicants on other species of wildlife where it is determined that the wildlife can be reasonably controlled using less harmful methods.
(b)(1) The Department, in consultation with the Department of Health, shall establish rules governing the control of feral dogs and cats in the District by wildlife control operators.
(2) The Department's rules shall be consistent with the District's policy in favor of trap, neuter, return, and adoption for controlling feral cats, as established by the Animal Care and Control Agency pursuant to § 8-1802.
(3) When no other methods of control have been adequate, the Department may authorize a wildlife control operator to control feral dogs or cats. Wildlife control operators controlling feral dogs or cats under such a permit shall abide by the requirements set forth in this chapter.
(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 7, 57 DCR 11499.)
(a) A wildlife control operator shall maintain records of all wildlife control services documenting the following information at each service call:
(1) Client's name and address;
(2) Date of service;
(3) Nature of the complaint;
(4) Methods employed to alleviate problem;
(5) Number and species of wildlife handled; and
(6) Method of disposition of all animals, including place of disposition of all animals.
(b) On or before January 15 of each year, a wildlife control operator shall submit an accurate summary of activities of the preceding calendar year on forms provided by the Department. The summary shall contain the following information:
(1) Name, phone number, and address of wildlife control operator;
(2) Total number of complaints;
(3) Number and kinds of wildlife handled and their disposition;
(4) Number of wildlife euthanized and method of euthanasia employed; and
(5) Period covered.
(c) A wildlife control operator shall keep all required records for 3 years and shall make the records available for inspection by the Director or his or her designee at any reasonable time.
(d) The Department shall keep records of all wildlife control operator summary reports and shall regularly compile and publish the information online.
(e) Within 2 years after March 8, 2011, the Department shall provide a report to the Council on the effectiveness of the regulation of wildlife control services, including the prohibitions on the use of certain control techniques, and recommendations for further legislation to improve regulation of wildlife control.
(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 8, 57 DCR 11499.)
(a) The Department may suspend or revoke the license of a wildlife control operator if the applicant:
(1) Violates the provisions of this chapter or the conditions of the license; or
(2) Engages in fraudulent business practices.
(b) The Department shall suspend or revoke the license of a wildlife control operator if the applicant is convicted of an offense set forth in §§ 22-1001 to 22-1013.
(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 9, 57 DCR 11499.)
(a) The Mayor shall establish a schedule of fees for licenses issued under § 8-2204.
(b) The Mayor may require reimbursement of costs for services, including inspections, sample collection, document review, or other reasonable costs or fees incurred in implementing this chapter, or regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter.
(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 10, 57 DCR 11499; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 6002(b), 63 DCR 10775.)
The Department shall keep a record of any written or oral complaints lodged against a wildlife control services provider and shall document action taken by the Department in response to the complaint.
(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 11, 57 DCR 11499.)
(a) The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, may issue rules to implement the provisions of this chapter.
(b) The Mayor may bring an action in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to enjoin the violation or threatened violation of any provision of this chapter or of any rules promulgated under this chapter.
(c) The Mayor may impose civil infraction penalties, fines, and fees as alternative sanctions for any violation of this chapter or a regulation promulgated pursuant to this chapter, pursuant to the procedures set forth in Chapter 18 of Title 2.
(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 12, 57 DCR 11499; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 6002(c), 63 DCR 10775.)
(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 13, 57 DCR 11499 ; February 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008, 61 DCR 9990.)