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Proposed regulations would require animal control workers to kill ‘nuisance animals’

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is proposing changes that would require animal control workers to kill raccoons, opossums and coyotes.

“These are nuisance animals. Nobody likes nuisance animals,” said Marty Benson with DNR.

Within the past week, DNR sent a letter out to animal control companies outlining the potential kill order.

“Some of these animals spread diseases. Some of them get into houses and cause problems. We have received complaints about them,” said Benson.

Last year, Kirk Nuener with Admiral Wildlife Services trapped 468 raccoons.

“I don’t believe I have a problem with the raccoon and coyote part of it. I want to hear what the DNR has to say about the opossum part,” said Kirk Neuner with Admiral Wildlife Services.

Currently, wildlife animal control workers can either put an animal down or release them on property with the land owner’s permission.  The land where the animal is released must be within the same county where it was captured.

“Typically, that becomes someone else’s problems. These three animals are all abundant so they could be euthanized without harming the population at large,” said Benson.

The DNR has a list of 11 approved euthanasia methods.

“The wildlife control operator does that business which is a business not a lot of people want to get into but it is a necessary business to be done,” said Benson.

DNR calls the change necessary while some animal control workers call it cruel.

“My jaw dropped. I can’t believe that. There’s no reason for it,” said Michael Meservy with Advanced Pest Control.

Meservy tells FOX59 one of the biggest reasons his customers chose him is because of his catch and release policy. If these new rules are passed, Meservy is calling it quits.

“I tell you what I’m going to hang up by business if they actually make me do this. I will not be in business anymore as far as animal control. I won’t do it,” said Merservy.

There are two public hearings scheduled.  The first meeting is on March 14, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Spring Mill Inn at Spring Mill State Park, Lakeview Room located at 3333 State Road 60 East in Mitchell. The second meeting is on March 22, starting at 5:30 p.m., at Mounds State Park, Pavilion located at 4306 Mounds Road in Anderson.