Alabama: Don't Ban Rehab of Injured and Orphaned Wildlife

  • by: alicia graef
  • recipient: Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

At the end of August, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources sent a letter to wildlife rehabilitation facilities and individual rehabilitators that it would no longer be issuing permits for foxes, skunks, bats, coyotes, opossums, raccoons or wild pigs.

The department is instructing anyone who finds an injured or orphaned animal to either leave them where they are or bring them somewhere to be immediately euthanized. Rehabbers have been instructed to turn people away or take in animals and euthanize them.

By the department's logic, there's no reason to save individual animals of species who aren't considered threatened or endangered.

There may not be a biological reason to save these creatures, but there's certainly a moral one. Especially for those who end up needing help because of human activities, like a mother being accidentally hit by a car, or intentionally killed, or an infant being injured by a domestic pet.

Compassionate actions shouldn't be criminalized. Please stand with wildlife lovers who are opposing this decision and ask the department to overturn this rule.

As a wildlife lover, I was outraged to learn about the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' decision not issue permits for rehabilitators who work with injured or orphaned foxes, skunks, bats, coyotes, opossums, raccoons or wild pigs.

Using the justification that populations of these species are at levels that don't warrant saving individual animals is reprehensible. Especially considering the number of animals who find themselves needing assistance because of human activities.

Asking people to take animals in to knowingly have them killed, while asking rehabilitators to euthanize animals who could otherwise be saved and returned to the wild is completely unacceptable and will only cause more problems with members of the public who will now try to save these animals themselves, instead of taking them to trained rehabilitators.

I sincerely hope that your agency will reconsider this move and overturn the decision not to issue permits expediently and let rehabilitators who work at their own cost continue to save injured and orphaned animals of the species who will  now otherwise be callously left to suffer and die.    

Update #19 years ago
Thanks advocates like you, Alabama's wildlife has nearly 44,000 people trying to get the DCNR to rescind its policy banning rehab for certain species, but it's not budging. Rehabbers are pursuing legal action and they need our help to raise funds for legal fees to fight this battle.

NAWR PO Box 249 Falkville, AL 35622

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