PUT AN END TO THE AUTOMATIC EUTHANIZING OF INJURED AND ORPHANED OPOSSUMS!

  • by: Lauren Murray
  • recipient: State Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The current law in Oregon is that all orphaned or injured opossums be euthanized or left to die. Their reasoning is that opossums are not native to the State of Oregon and it is illegal to help non-native species. Permits are not being distributed even to those that are willing to permanently house unreleasable, fixed opossums.

The primary defense of an opossum is to "play dead", they are not in any way an aggressive animal. Also, opossums are highly resistant to disease and have a slightly below average body temperature. The rabies virus can't thrive at this lower temperature. When it comes down to it, opossums are docile and in no way threaten the lives of their caregivers or surrounding neighbors and friends.

Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah are currently the only states where it is ILLEGAL to house an opossum. While in many other states you need to obtain licensing and permits, in Oregon, those permits are not being given. All we are asking, is that educated caregivers be permitted to house opossums that would be otherwise unreleasable (due to an injury or some other medical issue). These "pet" opossums would be fixed (and therefore unable to reproduce) and be seen by a veterinarian. The caregivers would also be required to sign a contract agreeing to not release their opossum back into the wild for any reason. If no longer able to care for them, they would be turned over to the audobon society.

Tons of pets are not native to the State of Oregon, or even native to the Country, and yet they are legal to own. Many injuries are caused by automobiles, etc. If we, as people, are partially to blame for their injuries, shouldn't we be able to help them as well? Considering that only 1.7% of all residents of the US are Native American, are we really willing to deny care to another living being simply because it isn't "native"?

The current law in Oregon is that all orphaned or injured opossums be euthanized or left to die. Their reasoning is that opossums are not native to the State of Oregon and it is illegal to help non-native species. Permits are not being distributed even to those that are willing to permanently house unreleasable, fixed opossums. 

The primary defense of an opossum is to "play dead", they are not in any way an aggressive animal. Also, opossums are highly resistant to disease and have a slightly below average body temperature. The rabies virus can't thrive at this lower temperature. When it comes down to it, opossums are docile and in no way threaten the lives of their caregivers or surrounding neighbors and friends.

Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah are currently the only states where it is ILLEGAL to house an opossum. While in many other states you need to obtain licensing and permits, in Oregon, those permits are not being given. All we are asking, is that educated caregivers be permitted to house opossums that would be otherwise unreleasable (due to an injury or some other medical issue). These "pet" opossums would be fixed (and therefore unable to reproduce) and be seen by a veterinarian. The caregivers would also be required to sign a contract agreeing to not release their opossum back into the wild for any reason. If no longer able to care for them, they would be turned over to the audobon society. 

Tons of pets are not native to the State of Oregon, or even native to the Country, and yet they are legal to own. Many injuries are caused by automobiles, etc. If we, as people, are partially to blame for their injuries, shouldn't we be able to help them as well? Considering that only 1.7% of all residents of the US are Native American, are we really willing to deny care to another living being simply because it isn't "native"?

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