Alabama Bans Rescue And Rehab Of Orphaned And Injured Wildlife

Local wildlife rehabilitaters and animal advocates are furious over new guidelines handed down by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources which forbids anyone from saving or rehabilitating seven species of animals in Alabama.

According to Tuscaloosa News, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said Thursday that it will no longer issue permits for the rehabilitation of certain orphaned or injured raccoons, skunks, opossums, foxes, coyotes, feral pigs or bats.

“Anyone who finds an orphaned or hurt animal should leave it in the wild, the agency said, and humane organizations should euthanize any of the animals they receive.”

Biologist Ray Metzler, assistant chief of wildlife for the agency stated, “There is no biological reason to rehabilitate these animals.”

Metzler continues on to say that removing orphaned or injured animals from the wild and nursing them interrupts the food chain and could help spread diseases such as rabies.

WHNT 19 News reported that many are outraged by this new law.

Janet Stratman, a rehabber with North Alabama Wildlife Rehabilitators, said “I’m not a euthanizer. I’m a rehabber. I didn’t get into this work to kill animals. I got into it to save animals.”

Metzler continued on to say “Animals die every day. Every animal has to eat, and every animal has its place in the food chain. This may be a cruel way to put it, but it’s survival of fittest. It really is.”

Kim Robinson of Huntsville, a volunteer with North Alabama Wildlife Rehabilitators, said she is leaving the organization rather than abide by a rule she calls “irresponsible and reckless.”

She said she expects few people would be willing to leave an orphaned animal to die in the wild or turn it over to be euthanized.

Tuscaloosa News continues on to report Robinson saying that people will try to raise the wild animals on their own rather than turning them over to trained rehabilitators.

“People are not going to kill these cute little animals after they see their mamas killed on the street or something,” she said.

What do you think of Alabama’s new ban on rescuing injured/orphaned animals? Is it humane to kill and or leaves these seven species to die if they are injured/orphaned?

[Image by Jacopo Werther via Wikimedia Commons]