Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli called a local talk radio show on Tuesday to complain about rats in D.C. Specifically, Cuccinelli was peeved about a D.C. law — the Wildlife Protection Act — which, since March 2011, has outlawed some common pest control practices including the use of lethal traps on certain species of rats and mice (and on other wild animals that get stuck in homes).
“Last year, in its finite wisdom, the D.C. City Council passed a new law — a triumph of animal rights over human health,” he told the hosts of WMAL’s ‘The Morning Majority‘ show. “Those pest control people… aren’t allowed to kill the rat. They have to relocate the rat. And… that’s actually not the worst part. They cannot break up the family of the rat.”
“Oh no,” one of the hosts said solemnly as another loudly gasped. But what does any of this have to do with Virginia? Cuccinelli explained that wildlife trappers might now simply take the rats they catch in D.C. into Virginia.
“Actual experts in pest control will tell you, if you don’t move an animal about 25 miles, it will come back,” Cuccinelli said. “So what’s the solution to that? Across the river.”
“It is worse than our immigration policies, you can’t break up rat families or racoons and all the rest,” Cuccinelli continued. “And you can’t even kill them. It’s unbelievable.”
(The audio can be found at 92:35 here.)
Lest Cuccinelli’s rat rant seem a bit out of the blue, it is a topic that representatives of pest control businesses, including those in Northern Virginia, are still fuming over to this day. Industry leaders say the Wildlife Protection Act makes it prohibitively expensive for homeowners to pay for a letter-of-the-law pest control service. Such a service, they say, would involve trapping an entire family of animals in and around a home and then driving around the District looking for an uninhabited wooded spot to let the critters out.
In practice, according to Gene Harrington of the Fairfax-based National Pest Management Association, many pest control companies will simply try to skirt the law in one way or another. Rather than trying to find a safe spot to let the animals go in D.C., for instance, a company may simply decide to break federal law and transport the animal over state lines.
“If the District isn’t even going to let you use a snap trap to control a chipmunk or a squirrel, it’s just a lot easier for Commonwealth-based businesses to bring every animal captured in the District back to the Commonwealth,” he said. “They’ll simply just put them in the back of their truck, I’m sure, and take them across the river.”
While lethal traps are technically permitted for several common rat and mouse species, Jason Reger, the Virginia representative of the National Wildlife Control Operators Association, says that other rodent species are prevalent in the District and that it’s impossible for a trap to differentiate between the various species. Reger also contends that the Wildlife Control Act’s provision that allows animals to be trapped and then euthanized would be difficult to apply in practice.
Harrington, for his part, says he hopes changes will eventually be made to what he described as a “stupid, stupid, ill-advised, ill-conceived law.”
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Arlington and its neighbors have become more segregated in the last 10 years while fair housing legislation at the state level faces significant roadblocks. Arlington’s fair housing enforcement, education, and commitment to equity practices in housing policy and programs are beginning to show signs of improvement but much more needs to be done.
Join the NAACP Arlington Branch, HOME of Virginia, and Equal Rights Center for the 2nd Annual Arlington Fair Housing Conference on April 15th to discuss the threats and opportunities to advancing fair housing policy across the state and within Arlington.
The half-day, in-person event will feature speakers from fair housing advocacy organizations and government agencies including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and focus on fair housing policy trends in Virginia and Arlington County. The conference aims to advance the understanding of issues and policies related to equity and affirmatively further fair housing among local officials, advocates, and members of the public.
2nd Annual Arlington Fair Housing Conference
Is home ownership a goal of yours in 2023? Now is the time to make it happen! Grab a (virtual) drink with the area’s top Real Estate experts, learn all about the home buying process and on how you can get $1,500 towards your closing costs immediately!
Did you know the average Arlington renter will spend $150K in 5 years of renting? Stop paying down someone else’s mortgage! Join us for a Rent vs. Buy Happy Hour on Wednesday, April 5th at 6 p.m. via Zoom. If this time doesn’t work, we also are offering times convenient for your schedule!
A lot has happened in the local market since the beginning of the pandemic. Sip on your drink of choice and learn from Northern Virginia, Arlington and Washingtonian Magazines top producing agents! We will discuss the latest market updates, the home buying process and rent vs. buy cost savings. Please RSVP by clicking here.
Call/text Manavi at 703-869-6698 with any questions!
Private School Fair
Congressional School to Host MONA Private School Fair Thursday, April 27 at 6:30 PM
Congressional School in Falls Church, VA is delighted to host the MONA (Mothers of North Arlington) at an upcoming Private School Fair. Private schools from around
WHS Spring Festival
Join us at the WHS Spring Festival on April 22, 2023, from 10am- 3pm at Wakefield High School(main parking lot). Come out to shop, play, and eat!
Shop local vendors, arts & crafts, new and used items, food vendors/trucks, and