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D.C., Va. Officials to Discuss Wildlife Protection Act

by ARLnow.com January 30, 2012 at 3:06 pm 2,888 28 Comments

The Virginia Attorney General’s Office says D.C. officials have agreed to meet with representatives from Virginia and Maryland about the District’s Wildlife Protection Act of 2010.

Earlier this month Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli publicly spoke out about the law, which is intended to ensure the humane treatment of wildlife by animal control personnel. Cuccinelli told WMAL radio that the law prevents the use of lethal traps against certain pests, while increasing the likelihood that trapped animals — which may carry diseases or parasites — will be illegally brought into Virginia and released. The attorney general called the law “a triumph of animal rights over human health.”

Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh later picked up on Cuccinelli’s complaint and blasted D.C. officials on his radio show.

Despite the heated rhetoric, Cuccinelli’s office announced today that D.C., Virginia and Maryland officials have begun a dialogue regarding the Wildlife Protection Act. Cuccinelli issued the following statement this morning:

I have recently expressed concerns publicly that the D.C. Wildlife Act of 2010 could potentially lead to nuisance wildlife being dropped off across the Potomac River into Virginia. Nuisance wildlife includes certain rodents, raccoons, and other animals known to carry rabies, Lyme Disease, and other diseases which can potentially infect humans. These concerns are shared by such organizations as the bipartisan Maryland and Virginia State Sportsmen’s Caucuses, the National Wildlife Control Operators Association, the Wildlife Society, and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Like others, I want to ensure the humane treatment of animals, but when it comes to rodents and other animals that often carry diseases, human health must come first.

While I expressed these concerns publicly only recently, I had tried to get the attention of District officials for the last 10 months. After we brought this issue to the public’s attention last week, my staff had a conference call with Mayor Vincent Gray’s office, Councilmember Mary Cheh’s office, Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf’s office, and other D.C. officials. As a result of that call, Mayor Gray has agreed to convene a meeting within the next three months among representatives from the District, Virginia, Maryland, and Congressman Wolf’s office. I want to thank the mayor for his willingness to discuss the concerns his neighbors have.

I am hoping that we can also convene a panel of scientific and wildlife experts, as well as officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to discuss how to best deal with the public health ramifications of this act for our jurisdictions. The alarming increase in vector-transmitted diseases in the metropolitan area is not just a D.C. problem. That is why a regional approach is needed.

  • Pablo

    Whatever Cuccinelli is for, I’m against.

    • mickey644

      Great! Send in your address so we know where to send the rats!!

      • CourthouseChris

        You kinda missed the point of Pablo’s comment… similiarly Cuccinelli has missed the point of the Wildlife Protection Act.

        • biggirl

          Cuccinelli misses most points. And rodents are not on the list!

  • Burger

    So you are for rabid animals being caught in DC and released in Virginia…ok, sounds like you are not reactionary in the least.

    • drax

      No, it’s reactionary to think that will happen.

      Rabid animals must be destroyed under the DC law. Rats are exempt from the law and can also be killed, despite Cooch, a friggin’ Attorney General, assuming otherwise about the law. Regular old wildlife is harmless and welcome in Virginia.

      • Andrew

        What about opposum? They can be mean.

        • biggirl

          So can dogs. And cats. And republicans. We have plenty of possums in Arlington. And Raccoons, and foxes. Last year we had a coyote, and we have seen a few deer.

        • Your mom

          It’s more scared of you than you are of it.

      • Burger

        Of course, the law is not limited to rabid animals but all animals being transported from DC to VA. Again, my point is valid. I don’t particularly like him but if he said the sky was blue all the reactionaries would be up in arms and say it is green.

  • Lou

    I am glad that some good dialog is happening because of this.

  • bait and switch

    thought the days of DC-baiting were over when Stan Parris left office, but I guess not. Cuccinnelli is using his distortion tactics as red meat, so to speak, for his tea-party pals.

    • mickey644

      Yep…..all politics and distortion. How about we send some political, distorted rats to your house, Mr. Politicical analyzer!!

      • drax

        Rats are exempt from the law and can be killed. But keep spreading the false rumors that Cooch, who should be the last guy spreading false rumors about laws, spread.

        • speonjosh

          I think we should start a campaign accusing mickey644 of being an employee/front for the state’s attorney general office.

          • CourthouseChris

            The caliber of writing and demonstrated thought seem to match.

  • V

    So the cooch is concerned about vector-transmitted diseases ? How very scientific of him ! How much research has he been doing ?

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2605134/

  • speonjosh

    Has anyone been able to come up with a reasonable explanation for why Virginia’s attorney general is involving himself in the passage of laws in the District of Columbia? Isn’t he busy enough?

    • biggirl

      Yes, isn’t he busy making sure state schools don’t print on any material that they don’t discriminate based on sexual preference. What a douche.

      • Andrew

        Wow…triple negative. Nice.

  • Swag

    Wait until he finds out that animals can travel from DC to VA on their own… Anticipated response: “Build a fence!”

    • Chad

      It will need to be electrified and we will need more “boots on the ground.”

  • novamp

    Of all the things for our AG to focus on, this is a priority? Worthless.

  • Mr T

    taxpayer funded high-rise for animal shelter off courthouse road anyone?

    • ArlingtonWay

      Ha!

  • brendan

    Meanwhile, Cucinelli is ignoring a plea from sportsmen across the state to protect public access. In a case that has broad implications across Virginia, a couple fisherman who were following state issued maps and guidelines were charged w/ trespassing and are now being sued by a developer while Cucinelli ignores them to go on squirrel patrol.

  • wildlife

    Cuccinnelli is crazy. most wildlife including raccoons are not rabid. there is nothing wrong or scary with having wildlife living amongst us. the scariest creature on earth is the human animal. really people lighten up. we are not the only species entitled to live on earth.

  • anon

    does nobody white balance their photos anymore?

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