Help Protect Louisiana's Wildlife and Oppose HCR 6!

Louisiana Wildlife Needs Our Help! Our wildlife is under threat, and we need your help now!

HCR 6, a Louisiana House Concurrent Resolution, was proposed this week during the current House session, and is barreling through, aiming to amend the Louisiana Wildlife Rehabilitation Program regulations. This was set in motion without consulting the current permitted rehabilitators, who are the local experts in this field.

Our state Wildlife Rehabilitation Program is one of very high standards and ethics and is based on sound science. We follow the IWRC and NWRA guidelines which are standard across the USA.

  1. The proposal to offer an online class and test taking module is a good idea in part. However, it cannot replace the value of an in-person or live online class. These are complicated subjects that often need species-specific and/or specialty speakers, group discussion, and lots of questions. Tests should always be in person to ensure the applicant is qualified and that the actual applicant is the one taking the test.
  2. The proposed changes regarding access to veterinary services are very problematic. Wildlife rehabilitators must have secured partnerships with licensed veterinarians trained in wildlife care to ensure proper treatment and prevent unnecessary suffering. We must provide a signed veterinarian form before a permit is granted. This regulation is standard across the USA, guided by the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association and should not be taken lightly ( ).  HCR 6 wants to do away with this requirment and change it so that applicants only have to say that they will agree to have veterinary care. 
  3. HCR 6 wants to strip important regulations related to enclosure standards and inspection that could jeopardize the mental and physical well-being of wildlife in rehabilitation while also creating possible safety concerns that directly affect the public. Proper housing, enrichment, and husbandry practices are crucial for successful rehabilitation outcomes, and to maintain public safety. HCR 6 wants to do away with in-person inspections entirely and allow applicants to only agree that they will have proper caging. The in person inspection is crucial, which is why zoos and sanctuaries are also subject to in person inspection by the USDA and AZA. The regulations set forth in the Minimum Standards for caging by the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association are standard across the USA and based on the best current science available. This is not an area anyone should ever feel is o.k. to deregulate.
  4. The suggested amendment allowing rehabilitators to indefinitely keep non-releasable wildlife without LDWF approval is deeply concerning. Wildlife belongs in their natural habitat, and decisions regarding captivity should be made with expert consultation to prioritize animal welfare and public safety. Furthermore, maintaining stringent regulations is essential in combating wildlife trafficking, hoarding, and ensuring that only qualified individuals are entrusted with the care of our native wildlife.

HCR 6 attempts to chip away wildlife protections by deregulating key aspects of the program. It took Louisiana over 4 decades to become one of the strictest states, for good reason, in regards to the trafficking and exploitation of our native wildlife and exotic animals. HCR 6 puts this hard work at risk of going backwards to an antiquated time when wildlife had little protections in our state.  Lax regulation amendments also open up issues with zoonotic disease, wildlife trafficking and explotation, and public safety.

Representatives Ventrella and Geymann are pushing this through FAST, disregarding the impact it'll have on our precious creatures. We cannot let this happen! Time is running out! Reach out to your State Representative and Senator IMMEDIATELY. Our wildlife's future hangs in the balance, and we must act now. Together, we can be their voice. Let's unite to defend our wildlife and stop HCR6! Spread the word and take action TODAY!

Please see our Google Drive ( link below) on this concurrent resolution, with the documents of the HCR 6, current Wildlife Rehabilitation Regs, examples of our letters of opposition submitted this past week:
Click HERE

And this link will help you find your legislator and their contact info:
Find Your Parish Represenative

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