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The status of nuisance wildlife damage control in the states


State fish and wildlife agencies and nuisance wildlife control operators must work together whether or not they actively choose to. In this paper, their relationship is likened to a marriage between two (not so likely) partners. In an attempt to assess the status of this relationship the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, The Wildlife Society's Wildlife Damage Management Working Group, and the National Animal Damage Control Association developed a survey that addressed the level of state agencies' oversight of nuisance wildlife control operators (NWCOs). Responses were received from 47 states, 1 territory, and 17 ADC state offices. This report concentrates on the responses from the U.S. states and territories. Currently 77% of states perform nuisance wildlife control activities. Private agents may euthanize nuisance animals for property owners in 95% of the states, and are allowed to relocate nuisance wildlife in 91% of the states. Most states do not require NWCO's to carry general liability insurance. Some states do not have a well-defined method for monitoring compliance with laws and regulations dealing with nuisance wildlife control activities. There appears to be a great deal of gray area in the relationship between NWCOs and the state agencies. National guidelines for the nuisance wildlife control industry may help clarify the responsibilities of the states and NWCOs with respect to each other and the private landowner.

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