Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources : Stop the euthanization of orphaned wildlife in Alabama.
  • Petitioned Guy, Jr., N. Gunter

This petition was delivered to:

Commissioner: Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Guy, Jr., N. Gunter
Supervising Wildlife Biologist
Jud Easterwood
Assistant Chief
David C. Hayden
Assistant Chief
Ray Metzler
Chief
Gary H. Moody
Supervising Wildlife Biologist
Mike Sievering
Supervising Wildlife Biologist
William N. Gray
Supervising Wildlife Biologist
Steve Barnett
Nongame Wildlife Program Coordinator
Mark Sasser
Alabama Governor
President of the United States
Alabama State Senate
Alabama State House
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources : Stop the euthanization of orphaned wildlife in Alabama.

    1. Dianna Bickett
    2. Petition by

      Dianna Bickett

      Etna, CA

  1.  
  2.   
March 2014

Victory

Dianna Bickett: At a meeting with Fish and Game on March 1, 2014 the state of Alabama rescinded their new policy!!!!

Alabama can now rehab all wildlife babies again.

You are all part of this decision. thank you from the bottom of my heart!

And thank you to everyone that worked so hard to get this done.

Thank you F/W for showing you can have a heart!

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division) issued a letter on August 29, 2013, to all Alabama Wildlife Rescue Centers and licensed Alabama wildlife rehabilitators. The letter states that due to a policy change, they will not be allowed to rehabilitate any fur bearing animals including orphaned/injured baby bats, skunks, opossums, foxes, coyotes, feral pigs and raccoons.  Furthermore they are to be turned over to specified locations for euthanization.

The original concern was for what is believed to be an overpopulation of raccoons in the state  and the threat from rabies and other diseases which raccoons "can" carry as can ANY mammal. The small number of these animals that are orphaned each year, rehabilitated and returned into the wild is not significant enough to be causing an overpopulation.  

Statistics gathered by the Alabama Department of Health for 2013 shows the number of documented cases of raccoon rabies is eleven.  THERE HAVE BEEN NO DOCUMENTED CASES OF HUMAN INFECTION SINCE 1994.

Statistics gathered by ADOH from 1950-2012 show an average of 29 cases of raccoon rabies per year while the same time span shows dogs to be the highest with an average of 47 cases per year. Clearly dogs have been more of a threat then raccoons. These numbers are for the whole state of Alabama. 

RABIES IS NOT AIRBORNE. We do not need to be killing perfectly healthy animals who are zero risk to anyone. Any mammal can get rabies if they are bitten by an infected animal. There are documented cases of cows and horses having rabies. Raccoons are not born with rabies, they can only get rabies by being bitten by an infected animal. So what this amounts to is a war on orphaned/injured baby bats, skunks, opossums, foxes, coyotes, feral pigs and raccoons.

There is no way to test for rabies without killing the animal and necropsy of the brain. Millions are tested every year and only a tiny percentage are ever positive.

As far as the concern for "public safety":  People will always be finding orphaned wildlife and will need a place to turn them in for rehabilitation.  With this new policy, do they really think people will turn babies in to be killed? NO, this will only drive rescuing and rehabilitation underground and make it much more difficult for the public to find someone to help therefore causing the animals to be raised by well intentioned people who have no idea what they are doing.  By doing this they will be putting many more people and domestic animals in potential contact with the diseases they are so worried about. Please urge Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to rescind this policy.

People HAVE always and WILL always try to help the helpless, especially little animals. How do you explain to children that all Fish & Game will do with a wild baby is kill it? What kind of message does that send?  Please do not tie the hands of the trained proffessional rehabilitators and wildlife centers.  They are the buffer zone between our wild life and the general public.

There is absolutely no cost to the state of Alabama nor to the taxpayers to allow the continued rehabilitation of these orphaned babies. All rehabilitators and wildlife centers are funded through donations and out of the personal pockets of the rehabilitators...a true labor of love. By what authority can any government agency, established to protect our resources, go against the very wellbeing that has been entrusted to them to protect.

 

To:
Guy, Jr., N. Gunter, Commissioner: Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Jud Easterwood, Supervising Wildlife Biologist
David C. Hayden, Assistant Chief
Ray Metzler, Assistant Chief
Gary H. Moody, Chief
Mike Sievering, Supervising Wildlife Biologist
William N. Gray, Supervising Wildlife Biologist
Steve Barnett, Supervising Wildlife Biologist
Mark Sasser, Nongame Wildlife Program Coordinator
Alabama Governor
President of the United States
Alabama State Senate
Alabama State House
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives
Stop the euthanization of orphaned wildlife in Northern Alabama.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

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    1. Reached 8,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Jack Gill VALPARAISO, FL
      • about 1 month ago

      This is not good news. One rehab center per the five districts in Alabama means one center for every dozen or more counties will be authorized to raise and rehab any rabies vector species--which include raccoons, foxes, skunks, bats, and (depending on who you reference), bobcats, coyotes, opossums, otters . . . .. The great majority of those who are licensed rehabbers (at least here in Florida) are not "centers" but individuals who spend an enormous amount of time and their personal finances to try to save orphaned and injured wildlife, and they, along with the general public. do not have the time and/or resources to transport every orphaned raccoon or fox kit or whatever they receive possibly a hundred miles or so to an "approved" center. In addition, the requirement that "everyone" must have pre-exposure rabies vaccinations is also an unrealistic demand as it has been impossible in the last several years to get them, as the vaccine has been unavailable and what was available was rationed for post-exposure (It's the same drug). This is no "victory." This is Alabama's FW throwing a small bone to try to appease those who disagree with the regulation change while at the same time keeping in effect those changes.

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    • Nancy Sherwood GRANBURY, TX
      • about 1 month ago

      THIS IS INHUMANE.

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    • Nancy Carbone CHICAGO, IL
      • 2 months ago

      Its just terrible what happens to these poor animals

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    • Gabriele Wiemers CENTENNIAL, CO
      • 2 months ago

      Who are you dumb, stupid, ignorant people, making decisions like this!!!! And what IDIOT'S came up with the "Policy Change"? Don't you have nothing better to do with your life? Afraid that people might get bitten by an affected animal? Animals over time have learned not to trust people, their first instinct is to get away from humans. And who gives you the right to decide Who Lives and WHO or What has to DIE? Look in the mirror every morning and ask yourself:" Do I have the right to KILL innocent creatures, because they are orphaned?And YOU, so to speak "Biologist's" should be trying to find out why the world is getting

      over populated!?!?!? SHAME ON YOU ALABAMA! First the Indian and than the Wildlife!

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    • JENIA WEBB HYDEN, KY
      • 2 months ago

      every animal should have the right to live. Rescue, Relocation and Release should be the first option for all living creatures, not death.

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