Legal Issues

Overall learning objectives for this chapter:


  1. Know which federal and state agencies regulate aspects of the nuisance wildlife control industry.
  2. Understand the various state and federal laws about handling wildlife and using pesticides.
  3. Recognize which situations a NWCO can handle—and which are beyond your authority.
  4. Know when a state and/or federal permit is required.
  5. Realize that building codes, firearm ordinances, and other local regulations may apply to your work.
  6. Be aware of the requirements and procedures for attaining a state nuisance wildlife control operator license.


A number of local, state, and federal laws are designed to protect wildlife or to safeguard the public and the environment from the improper use of pesticides. You need to be aware of the current status of the laws at all levels because state and local laws are sometimes much more restrictive than federal regulations. Different laws apply to NWCOs, pesticide applicators, hunters, trappers, wildlife rehabilitators, and to those who control the populations of domestic animals such as dogs and cats. For example, if you want to use pesticides such as repellents, rodenticides, Avitrol® bait, or fumigants in your NWCO business, you will need a state commercial pesticide applicator license.


In certain situations, the landowners (or their agent) will need to obtain state and federal permits. You can help with this process and answer their questions, but you can’t secure the permits for them.


This chapter introduces the relevant federal and state laws and describes the types of local laws that may affect your business. If you have any questions, contact the regulatory agency. Laws and regulations change, so stay up-to-date.


SECTION ONE: FEDERAL LAWS RELATED TO WILDLIFE CONTROL


Learning objectives for section one:


  1. List the three federal agencies that regulate nuisance wildlife control.
  2. Identify one way in which the Endangered Species Act might affect your business.
  3. List the three groups of birds that aren’t protected by the Migrator y Bird Treaty Act.
  4. FIFRA (Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act) places three critical restrictions on NWCO activity—name them.
  5. Identify two subject areas important to NWCOs that would be covered in depth on the OSHA website.


The major agencies involved in regulating the NWCO industry at the federal level are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (US FWS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the Department of Labor (OSHA). In special circumstances other federal agencies may have jurisdiction, such as the Federal Aviation Agency for wildlife control at airports, and the Department of Transportation, for transporting wildlife across state borders or using certain hazardous materials, such as phosphine gas.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Division of Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS-WS http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/ourfocus/wildlifedamage) provides federal leadership in addressing wildlife damage issues, but doesn’t have a regulatory role. They help manage wildlife to reduce damage to agriculture and natural resources, to minimize risks to human health and safety, and to help protect endangered and threatened species.


Here are brief descriptions of the most pertinent federal laws affecting the NWCO industry. These laws, which are part of the U.S. Code, may be found online and at most public libraries. We’ve included the website addresses and the citation for the relevant section of the U.S. Code. Reference librarians can help you find the law in the books, especially if you present the citation, such as “16 U.S.C. 1531-1544, 87 Stat. 884.”


Endangered Species Act


Regulatory agencies: US FWS (http://www.fws.gov/), and each state’s lead wildlife agency (in NY, that’s the DEC http://www.dec.ny.gov/)


Applicable to: All plants and animals on the federal endangered or threatened species lists


Read the law: online—http://laws.fws.gov/lawsdigest/esact.html  


print—16 U.S.C. 1531-1544, 87 Stat. 884


This law protects endangered or threatened plant and animal species. What does it mean for you? It’s simple: it means an endangered or threatened species should not be injured or harassed by your nuisance wildlife control activities. These species cannot be killed, harmed, or collected except under some carefully described circumstances, and then, only with permits.


If there are endangered or threatened species living in the areas where you work, you must take special precautions. This might affect how you set traps or apply pesticides, for example. One measure of a pest manager’s professionalism is how diligently you try to protect other species from control activities, whether or not those “non-targeted species” are endangered.


Migratory Bird Treaty Act


Regulatory agencies: US FWS, and each state’s lead wildlife agency (again, in NY, that’s the DEC)


Applicable to: all migratory birds (such as ducks, geese, songbirds, gulls, shorebirds, wading birds, birds of prey) with these exceptions:


  • Three nonnative birds: the common pigeon (a.k.a. “rock dove”), house sparrow (a.k.a. “English sparrow”), and European starling,
  • Upland game birds that don’t migrate, and are managed by the DEC (such as turkey, quail, pheasant, and grouse), and
  • Certain blackbirds in certain agricultural situations (see below).


Read the law: online—http://laws.fws.gov/lawsdigest/migtrea.html


print—16 U.S.C. 703-712; Ch. 128; July 13 1918; 40 Stat. 755


This law protects all migratory birds, their feathers, nests, and eggs (with the few exceptions listed above). You may not take, possess, or transport a migratory bird without a special federal permit. Before you attempt to control a migratory bird, the landowners must obtain the 50 CFR Depredation Permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This permit allows the taking of migratory birds that have become a nuisance, are destructive to public or private property, or are a threat to public health or welfare. The permit spells out the conditions under which the birds may be controlled and the methods that may be used. Permit holders may control migratory birds that are clearly shown to cause, or are about to cause, serious damage to crops, nursery stocks, or fish in hatcheries. (USDA- APHIS-WS staff can help you apply for this permit. There is a fee for the permit.)


There is an exception to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act concerning blackbirds: “A federal permit shall not be required to control yellow-headed, red-winged, rusty, and Brewer’s blackbirds, cowbirds, all grackles, crows, and magpies when found committing or about to commit depredations upon ornamental or shade trees, agricultural crops, livestock, or wildlife, or when concentrated in such numbers and manner as to constitute a health hazard or other nuisance….”


State and local ordinances may further define control activities. For example, in New York, the Environmental Conservation Law states “Red-winged blackbirds, common grackles and cowbirds destroying any crop may be killed during the months of June, July, August, September and October by the owner of the crop or property on which it is growing or by any person in his employ.”


Local laws may limit the types of treatments that can be used in controlling birds, for example, they may limit the use of pyrotechnics. Check local and state laws before attempting to control any bird species.


Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)


Regulatory agency: US EPA (federal level); state designated lead agency (in NY, that’s the DEC)


Applicable to: pesticide use (the handling, use, storage, transportation, sale, and disposal of pesticides)


License required: pesticide applicator license for the use of restricted-use pesticides, or for the commercial application of pesticides. The commercial pesticide applicator license is broken down into 28 categories and subcategories, each requiring its own certification.


Read the law:  online— http://www.epa.gov/agriculture/lfra.html


print—Title 7, U.S.C. Ch. 6


Sit up straight, because this one is complicated. FIFRA is the federal law that regulates pesticides. (A pesticide is any substance designed to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate any pest.) However, in most states, certain provisions of FIFRA are enforced at the state level through state pesticide regulations. We’ll talk about those later.


Because of FIFRA:


  • All pesticides, as well as each use of that pesticide, must be registered by the US EPA. The EPA must also approve the product label.
  • The EPA also classifies pesticides as either “general use” or “restricted use.” (A “restricted use” pesticide is one that, even if used as directed, might possibly harm people or the environment.)
  • A restricted use pesticide may only be used by, or under the direct supervision of, a certified applicator.
  • The amount of pesticide residue allowed on food is described.
  • There are regulations for storing and disposing of pesticides and their containers.
  • The EPA provides standards for worker safety and re-entry into a pesticide-treated area.
  • There are criminal or civil penalties for violations of FIFRA. Big ones. A commercial applicator could be fined up to $25,000 or serve one year in prison, or both. NWCOs using pesticides on the job qualify as commercial applicators.
  • States may set stricter standards but they can’t establish a more permissive one. That means that no state can allow the sale or use of a pesticide that is not permitted by federal law.


Each state has laws governing the sale, use, disposal, storage, and transportation of pesticides. Nearly every state controls the certification of pesticide applicators within its borders (in Colorado and Nebraska, federal programs handle this duty).


This is the basic federal law that regulates the use of pesticides. A pesticide is any substance designed to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate any pest. Each state has a cooperative agreement with the EPA to enforce some provisions of FIFRA. Because of this law, the EPA must register all pesticides before they can be sold or used. Pesticides are classified as either “general use” or “restricted use.” General use pesticides may be purchased without restriction. Restricted-use pesticides can only be used by, or under the direct supervision of, a certified applicator.


There are three critical points to keep in mind concerning FIFRA:


  1. The minute you step onto someone else’s property, the laws for the commercial application of pesticides come into play. Homeowners may apply general use pesticides such as repellents on their property, but you cannot do so unless you have a commercial pesticide applicator license. You can advise landowners about this option, but you cannot provide the service unless you also have a commercial pesticide applicator license.
  2. If there’s an EPA number on the label, you need a commercial pesticide applicator license to use it on someone else’s property.
  3. ALWAYS read and follow the pesticide label instructions. The label is the law. Any use not listed on the label is prohibited.


Avoid the “oops” (pay attention when using something such as pesticides)


FIFRA is probably the law that is most misunderstood by NWCOs. Why? Because in many cases, they don’t even realize they’re dealing with a pesticide.


Any substance that’s meant to prevent, destroy, or repel pests, or reduce their damage, is legally classified as a pesticide. It doesn’t matter if it’s a commercial product or a home remedy.


Chemical repellents are pesticides. So are fumigants, such as phosphine gas tablets or a carbon monoxide gas cartridge used to control rodents in their burrows. Poison baits, such as rodenticides, are also pesticides.


There’s an easy way to figure this all out. Read the product label. If it’s a legal pesticide, the label will include all the information you need. And—the label is the law.


Do you trust everyone? Not all manufacturers are honest or competent. They might purposefully or accidentally include a dangerous substance in the product. That’s why we rely on scientific studies and government regulatory processes. That’s how you know that the list of ingredients is complete and accurate. That’s how you know that a 2% solution is just that, not 0.2% solution in this bottle, and a 20% solution in that one.


Remember, too, that just because a pesticide is sold through a trade magazine or the internet, that doesn’t mean you can legally use it in New York State. Legal pesticides are registered by the EPA and the DEC, or are in a special category, “25b minimum risk exemptions.”


If you have any questions about pesticides, check the DEC website, or call your regional DEC office or the Compliance Section of the DEC’s Bureau of Pesticides Management at (518) 402-8781. Unless you also have a commercial pesticide applicator license, you cannot use any of the following pesticides on someone else’s property:


  1. Chemical repellents,
  2. Fumigants (such as phosphine gas tablets, or a carbon monoxide gas cartridge, used to control rodents in their burrows), and
  3. Poison baits, such as rodenticides, even those that can be bought over-the-counter.


No snake repellents. No mothballs. No bird repellents. No poisonous mouse baits. Got it? To make sure you can legally use a product in your business with only your NWCO license, check the label. If there’s an EPA registration or establishment number,>

  • Poison baits, such as rodenticides, even those that can be bought over-the-counter.

  • No snake repellents. No mothballs. No bird repellents. No poisonous mouse baits. Got it? To make sure you can legally use a product in your business with only your NWCO license, check the label. If there’s an EPA registration or establishment number, you can’t use it.


    There’s another risky area for NWCOs: the use of “home remedies.” In addition to various homemade concoctions, this term refers to the novel use of a household product, such as using household ammonia as a repellent to drive raccoons out of a chimney. Anecdotal evidence may suggest that a product that isn’t labeled as a pesticide is effective as a repellent, for example. Common sense may suggest its safe, especially if it contains only natural substances—say, animal urine. It may address a situation that isn’t easily solved otherwise.


    Unfortunately, when a product hasn’t gone through the regulatory process, you may lack vital information about its use. What’s the recommended dose? Are the application directions precise and easily followed? Does the label list precautions that would help you minimize risks to the applicator, other people, other species, and the environment? When can you re-enter a treated area? How do you dispose of the materials afterwards?


    Until the scientific studies have proven the use is safe, you can’t be sure. In certain cases, the restrictions may seem ludicrous. A raccoon is living in the home, peeing wherever it pleases, but I can’t apply a little bit of raccoon eviction fluid, a product that contains raccoon urine?


    Some home remedies might qualify as an “off-label” use that’s illegal under FIFRA. Some may fall under different laws, or the legal implications may be unclear. If a product is unlabeled, or if its label doesn’t meet federal specifications, the suggested use might still be considered an off-label, and illegal use. Even giving advice about such home remedies could be considered questionable. This is murky territory. If you’re unsure, call the DEC’s Bureau of Pesticide Management at (518) 402-8788.


    A strict interpretation of FIFRA would also prohibit you from using a wasp or hornet spray, even a mint-oil based spray, while on the job. But, like utility workers, NWCOs often work on ladders. If stinging insects are close enough to where you’re working that you feel threatened, most authorities wouldn’t prosecute if you sprayed a general use wasp killer just to protect yourself, for example, while doing bat exclusion. Best advice is: try to avoid stinging insects or their nests; don’t offer to control stinging insects for a customer; and don’t charge for it.


    A caution for NWCOs who also have commercial pesticide applicator licenses: recently, a group of natural products received an exemption from FIFRA under category 25b.These products are federally registered. But none of them are registered in New York State yet, so you can’t use them. This may change. Check with the DEC for the current status of these products.


    Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)


    Regulatory agency: OSHA division of the U.S. Department of Labor


    Applicable to: all employers who have more than ten employees


    Read the law:


    online-  http://www.osha.gov/law-regs.html


    print—Public Law 91-596, 91st Congress, S. 2193, Dec. 29, 1970


    This law requires that all employers who have more than ten employees keep records of all work-related deaths, injuries, and illnesses, and report to OSHA periodically. It also requires the investigation of employee complaints that may be related to the use of pesticides. OSHA also sets standards to promote worker safety. For example, you have to tell your workers about job hazards, such as possible exposure to histoplasmosis from contact with pigeon droppings. Even if you don’t have more than ten workers, the OSHA standards and training recommendations are worth reviewing, especially those concerning the safe use of ladders and respirators.


    Higher, deeper, further… (optional activities to explore perspectives about this topic).


    • Contact the DEC’s Bureau of Wildlife for the mostcurrent lists of federally endangered and threatened species.   While you’re at it, request the NY state list, too. Learn how to identify those species that are found in your ar Know the habitats and habits of these species.
    • Learn what you can legally do to deal with problems caused by Canada geese, gulls, and woodpeckers without the federal permit (see Appendix C).
    • Check local and state laws to determine if there are additional restrictions on bird contr
    • If you want to use pesticides in your NWCO business, seek the proper training and obtain a commercial pesticide applicator license. Learn how to choose the least-toxic materials that provide effective r
    • Browse the OSHA website at http://www.osha.gov for safety


    Summary


    Before you answer the review questions, you may wish to think about the learning objectives for this section:


    1. List the three federal agencies that regulate nuisance wildlife control.
    2. Identify one way in which the Endangered Species Act might affect your business.
    3. List the three groups of birds that aren’t protected by the Migrator y Bird Treaty Act.
    4. FIFRA (Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act) defines pesticides. Give three examples of pesticides used in nuisance wildlife control.
    5. Identify two subject areas important to NWCOs that would be covered in depth on the OSHA website.


    Review questions


    1. Some birds are not protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Check all of the ones that are NOT covered by this law.


    _____Canada geese


    _____house (English) sparrow


    _____upland game birds


    _____European starling


    _____cowbirds & magpies (under certain circumstances)


    _____pigeon (rock dove)


    _____herring gull


    _____woodpecker


    1. A NWCO in the Midwest told you about a very effective raccoon repellent. You don’t have a commercial pesticide applicator license. Can you use it at work?
    2. yes
    3. no
    4. maybe, but only under the super vision of a veterinarian
    5. If your business employs eight workers, you must offer them the chance to participate in OSHA training for the use of respirators. (Circle correct answer) True False
    6. Which federal agencies have regulations that affect the NWCO industry? Check all that apply.


    ____Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)


    ____Federal Aviation Agency (FAA)


    ____US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)


    ____US Dept. of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Division of Wildlife Services (USDA-WS)


    ____US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)


    ____Department of Transportation


    1. The same restrictions apply to homeowners and commercial pesticide applicators. (Circle correct answer) True False
    2. If there’s a threatened plant species near your work site, you must not:
    3. tell anyone.
    4. set any traps in that area.
    5. apply any pesticides in that area.
    6. injure it in any way.
    7. It’s illegal to apply a pesticide in a way that’s not described on the label. (Circle correct answer)


    True       False


    Answers:


    1—house sparrow, upland game birds, European starling, cowbirds and magpies (under certain circumstances), and the pigeon (rock dove)


    2—b


    3—false. OSHA kicks in when you have at least ten employees.


    4—OSHA, FAA, USFWS, US EPA, and the Department of Transportation


    5—false


    6—d


    7—true


    SECTION TWO: STATE LAWS RELATED TO WILDLIFE CONTROL


    Learning objectives for section two:


    1. Name three “rabies vector species” in New York, and the agency with the authority to decide what happens to a nuisance animal that’s a rabies vector species.
    2. List two legal control techniques that may be used on a federally protected bird without obtaining special depredation permits.
    3. Explain two options for dealing with a problem involving a game species.
    4. Identify the laws that regulate the management of dogs and feral cats in New York.
    5. In addition to your NWCO license, what other paper- work do you need to do your job?


    Environmental Conservation Law (ECL)


    Regulatory agency: DEC


    Applicable to: all New Yorkers. The sections that are most relevant to NWCOs are 11-0524, 11-0521, 11-0523, 11-0511, 11-0513, 11-0525, 11-0505, 11-0507, 11-0917, 11-1105 and 11-1101


    License required: The NWCO license is required for certain activities (such as transporting wildlife) and to handle protected species.


    Read the law: Online- http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/40195.html


    Read the appropriate sections of Article 11, Titles 5, 9, 11 print—6 NYCRR Part 175 Article 11 Titles 5, 9, 11 To check the legal status of a wildlife species in New York.


    The Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) is the primary state law that regulates the activities of NWCOs. (For your reference, the full text of the appropriate sections of the ECL are included at the end of this chapter.) On July 30, 2002 Governor Pataki signed a new law about nuisance wildlife control, ECL 11-0524, which gave the DEC the authority to set new regulations and license conditions.


    Getting and keeping a nuisance wildlife control license: the overview


    To get a NWCO license, you must complete the application, pass the exam, and pay the license fee. The New York State nuisance wildlife control license authorizes you to act as an agent for a property owner or lessee. (You must have a signed contract or written permission from that person stating that you have been hired to act as their agent to take nuisance wildlife on their property). You are allowed to take, temporarily possess, and transport any wildlife, except for those species detailed below, when that animal damages public or private property, or under conditions detailed in a permit issued by the DEC.


    NWCOs in New York State shall NOT take, possess, or transport:


    • any species listed federally or in New York State as endangered or threatened;
    • any migratory birds (such as songbirds, waterfowl, birds of prey) without valid federal and state permits—with the few exceptions explained in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act section above;
    • any protected species unless it has caused damage or under conditions described in a DEC permit;
    • any white-tailed deer, black bear, beaver, otter, muskrat, fisher, bobcat, mink, marten, and wild turkey, without a valid state permit.


    You may take wildlife only by lawful means, and only in a lawful manner. NWCOs must also exercise due care to safeguard the public from any animal they capture, possess, or move to another location.


    After you’ve captured the nuisance animal, you can then: 1) release it to the wild; 2) humanely kill it, then bury or cremate it; or 3) if the animal is distressed or injured, transfer it to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. When appropriate, healthy wild animals may be released on site, or they may be relocated, if you have permission from the owner of the property on which you’d like to release that animal. This is true whether the preferred release site is public or private land. You may not release an animal into another county without prior approval from that county’s DEC Regional Wildlife Manager. Wildlife taken outside of New York State may not be brought into the state under this license.


    If the animal appears to be diseased, it must be humanely killed and buried or cremated, or otherwise disposed of as directed by the DEC Regional Wildlife Manager or the local county health department.


    NWCOs must follow the directives of their DEC permits and the local county health department concerning the handling and disposal of bats, raccoons, and skunks (rabies vector species), and any other directives about rabies.


    Animals that are distressed or injured but are good candidates for rehabilitation, such as young that have been orphaned, may be transferred to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Bats, raccoons, and skunks may only be transferred to rehabbers who have special facilities and approval to accept these rabies vector species, unless the NWCO receives other guidance from the DEC or the Department of Health.


    While you’re working as a NWCO, you are required to carry a copy of your license (showing all of the license conditions) with you, on your person. You must present this license on request. You must also keep track of all of your NWCO jobs each day, using the log supplied by the DEC. These records, and any animals in your possession, must be available for inspection by a DEC Environmental Conservation Officer at any reasonable time.


    The NWCO license is good for one year. (It expires on the date listed on the front of the license). It’s issued to you, not to a company, so it cannot be transferred. The license may be renewed by sending a written request, your previous year’s log, and the renewal fee to the DEC’s Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4752, a month before your license expires (you can send the request any time during that month).


    You must successfully complete any training program required by the DEC. For example, if you use firearms, you must pass the DEC hunter safety course. If you use any foothold trap or a body-gripping trap that has a jaw spread of 5” or larger, then you must pass the DEC trapper training course. Foothold and body-gripping traps must meet the requirements of ECL 11-1101 sub. 6.


    All traps set for the taking of wildlife must be marked with the name and address of the NWCO or of that person’s business. Traps must be checked each calendar day, by the NWCO or the property owner or lessee who hired the NWCO. Animals must be removed from traps on the same calendar day when they were discovered in the trap, or within 12 hours of capture. After you’ve captured the nuisance animal, you can then: 1) release it to the wild; 2) humanely kill it, then bury or cremate it; or 3) if the animal is distressed or injured, transfer it to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.


    Whew! That’s a lot of information. Now, we’ll go over some of the points again, adding some details.


    Which species can you handle?


    In New York State, all wild animal species have legal classifications that are described in the Environmental Conservation Law. Their legal status determines several aspects of control efforts. Most commonly, the question is, can a NWCO “take” this species in this situation?


    Legally, “take” applies to the pursuit, capture, or killing of wildlife. This covers shooting, trapping, netting, “and all lesser acts such as disturbing, harrying, or worrying.” It refers to any device commonly used to capture or kill that species. The taking must be by lawful means, and in a lawful manner. (See the definitions in ECL 11-0103 on page 3-28).


    There are many wildlife species that a NWCO can legally handle in New York State, so it’s actually easier to focus on the ones you cannot handle or must obtain special permits to handle legally.


    It’s not your job, definitely.


    In New York State, you may not, under any circumstances, handle endangered or threatened species. That includes species that are endangered or threatened only within New York State, and those that are in trouble on a national basis, too.


    The federal government maintains a list of federally threatened and endangered species. Each state tracks those species that are rare only within its borders. This means there are two lists you have to keep track of: the federal list, and the New York State list. Contact the NYS DEC to find out if there have been any updates to the lists. The DEC keeps current lists of NYS endangered and threatened species and fact sheets about many of these species on its website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7494.html


    Perhaps—just perhaps—in one of those rare situations that are about as likely to happen as winning it big in the lottery, you might receive a special DEC permit that would allow specific nonlethal controls for a state threatened or endangered species. Your chances of securing a permit for a species on the federal list are even slimmer.


    Another no-no for NWCOs in New York: you cannot capture or kill a pigeon if it’s wearing a leg band.


    It’s not your job, but….


    Domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, are not covered by the Environmental Conservation Law because they’re not wildlife species. They’re regulated under NYS Agriculture and Markets regulations, Articles 26 and 7. Even if they’re feral and behave like wild animals, they are still considered domestic species. Although every town is legally required to have a dog control officer the same isn’t true for cats. In some areas, there may be inadequate services and customers may turn to you for help with feral cats, but there are thorny liability issues that make this a complicated and risky business. Some of these issues are addressed in Appendix C.


    It is your job, but say hello to a new boss – the health department


    Special care is given to the handling of mammals that are most likely to be carrying rabies. Known as “rabies vector species,” in New York State the ones to watch are bats, raccoons, and skunks.  Foxes and coyotes may also be rabid in some areas.


    Before you respond to a call about these animals, call the local health authority. That’s either the county health department or the district office of the state health department.


    You are required by law to follow the health department’s directions concerning the disposal of raccoons, skunks, and bats, no matter what the landowner requests. Of course, you still have to follow DEC regulations, too. You are also legally required to follow any of the health department’s other directions related to the control of rabies. If anyone disputes this, just show your NWCO license. It’s right there on the front page.


    The New York State Sanitary Code, which is enforced by the state health department, explains how to handle these situations in detail (see section 3 in this chapter).


    Special jobs require special permits


    Federally-protected wildlife


    In some circumstances, the landowners may receive permission to capture or otherwise harm a federally protected species. This is handled on a case-by-case basis. The landowners need special depredation permits from both the federal government and the state government. Federally protected wildlife include migratory birds and nationally endangered or threatened species, as described previously.


    There are very few situations that justify the issuance of a special permit for an endangered or threatened species. You may not harm them in any way. You can’t harass them or disturb their habitats. Of course, you’re not likely to encounter them while on the job, either.


    Chances are, you’ll only get calls about a few federally-protected species, most likely, Canada geese, woodpeckers, gulls, cormorants, and some birds of prey (usually hawks and owls). Most of them are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, but not by the Endangered Species Act, so you may have some more options.


    Try a combination of nonlethal control methods first. This may solve the problem and will save you the hassle of the paperwork. Because you don’t need permits for most nonlethal control methods, you can probably deal with the situation right away, which may be appealing to your customer. Just remember that you can’t destroy eggs or disturb their young, or disturb a nest if there are eggs or young in it, because those actions are classified as “taking.”


    One exception is Canada geese. If you only want to destroy goose nests or treat the eggs with corn oil (or puncturing) to prevent hatching, you only need to visit t the USFWS’s Resident Canada Goose Nest and Egg Registration Site to register online. You do not need any special authorization or permit from the DEC. Go to: http://epermits.fws.gov/eRCGR/


    You may be able to persuade the birds to leave by hazing them with dogs or frightening them with devices such as noisemakers and scarecrows. Or alter the conditions that make the site attractive to them, for example, by removing unnatural food sources such as garbage. Exclude them from the site by erecting fences. If that approach doesn’t work, call the DEC regional wildlife office to discuss the situation and seek the proper permits.


    One postscript: the management of mute swans has changed once again. DEC can authorize a NWCO to remove mute swans. Hazing of mute swans will not be authorized as it could lead to range expansion. No federal permits are needed.


    Game species


    State and federal agencies manage game species primarily by controlling hunting and trapping. Some game species, such as muskrat, beaver, white-tailed deer, turkey, and black bear may become a nuisance on private property. What should you do if you’re asked to take care of a problem with one of these species? Tell the landowner to call the regional DEC wildlife office. If appropriate, the DEC will issue a special state permit—to the landowner, not to the NWCO—that will allow certain control efforts. You can be hired to do that work, but the landowner must speak directly to the DEC. (You can explain the process, but they still have to talk to the DEC).


    NWCOs may take bears on residential land if they’ve first proven to the DEC that the animal is damaging the property or threatening public health or safety. If persuaded, the DEC may issue a special permit. If the bear is killing or worrying livestock or destroying an apiary on cultivated land, the landowner (or you, as that person’s agent) may take the bear at any time. The landowner is then required to contact the DEC promptly, and to deliver the carcass to the DEC officer for disposal.


    If the landowner doesn’t want to get the state permit, you may once again use nonlethal control techniques. If the problem happens during a legal season for that species, you could advise the landowners to invite hunters or trappers onto their land.


    What’s left: first, the species any New Yorker can handle, without a permit


    The remainder of New York’s wildlife are either classified as “protected species” or “unprotected species.” That distinction won’t tell you which species you can handle and which you can’t, but it’s important to understand because the public has certain rights to take nuisance animals, mostly limited to the taking of unprotected species.


    All New York State residents can take a member of an unprotected species, and of a few specified protected species, that’s on their own property when the wildlife becomes destructive to public or private property.


    Nuisance animals of unprotected species may be taken at any time of the year and by any means provided that other laws are not violated (such as pesticide regulations, firearm discharge ordinances, or trespassing laws).


    There’s one important difference that applies to the public: even without a permit, they may capture nuisance animals of the species listed in sections 11-0523 (see below), but cannot release them. Private citizens must humanely kill a trapped nuisance animal, and bury or cremate it; or release the animal alive on their property (e.g., bat exclusion). Your NWCO license gives you the additional option of transporting and releasing animals, with the permission of the owner of the release site.


    With a NWCO license, you can do:


    ECL 11-0523 gives any New York State resident the right to capture:


    UNPROTECTED SPECIES, including


    Mammals:


    woodchuck, porcupine, eastern chipmunk, red squirrel, flying squirrels, moles, voles, shrews, bats (except the Indiana bat and the eastern small footed bat), and rats (except the Allegheny woodrat). Note: protected status for the northern long-eared bats is currently proposed and is being considered for little brown bats and tri-colored bats. Check the DEC web site for updates on this rapidly changing situation.


    Birds:


    house sparrow, European starling, pigeon (without leg band).


    And in CERTAIN SITUATIONS, some protected species including:


    Mammals:


    bears (damaging livestock or apiaries); skunks; raccoons; coyotes; foxes; black, gray, and fox squirrels; opossums; weasels; varying hares, cottontail rabbiances, or trespassing laws).


    There’s one important difference that applies to the public: even without a permit, they may capture nuisance animals of the species listed in sections 11-0523 (see below), but cannot release them. Private citizens must humanely kill a trapped nuisance animal, and bury or cremate it; or release the animal alive on their property (e.g., bat exclusion). Your NWCO license gives you the additional option of transporting and releasing animals, with the permission of the owner of the release site.


    With a NWCO license, you can do:


    ECL 11-0523 gives any New York State resident the right to capture:


    UNPROTECTED SPECIES, including


    Mammals:


    woodchuck, porcupine, eastern chipmunk, red squirrel, flying squirrels, moles, voles, shrews, bats (except the Indiana bat and the eastern small footed bat), and rats (except the Allegheny woodrat). Note: protected status for the northern long-eared bats is currently proposed and is being considered for little brown bats and tri-colored bats. Check the DEC web site for updates on this rapidly changing situation.


    Birds:


    house sparrow, European starling, pigeon (without leg band).


    And in CERTAIN SITUATIONS, some protected species including:


    Mammals:


    bears (damaging livestock or apiaries); skunks; raccoons; coyotes; foxes; black, gray, and fox squirrels; opossums; weasels; varying hares, cottontail rabbits, and European hares.


    Birds:


    red-winged blackbirds, crows, common grackles, and cowbirds (damaging crops in June through October).


    BUT THEN WHAT?


    This section of law does NOT give a private citizen the right to translocate any of these animals off of their property.  A private citizen must either hire a NWCO for that service, or kill the nuisance animal, and bury or cremate it.  Trapped animals may also be released alive on the landowner’s property.


    With a NWCO license, you can do more


    You can handle any of the species listed in ECL sections 11-0521 and 11-0523 with your NWCO license (see the following lists).


    For a NWCO, the critical parts of the ECL are sections 11-0524 (nuisance wildlife control operators), 1-0103 (definitions), 11-0521 (what you’re allowed to take with the NWCO license), 11-0523 (what you’re allowed to take without the license—this section applies to the public, too), 11-0507 (liberation of wildlife), 11-0511 and 11-0917 (transportation of wildlife), 11-0513 (protection of homing pigeons), 11-0525 (control of rabies in wildlife). These sections are included at the end of this chapter. Important note: Existing laws sometimes change and new laws are adopted, so you should always refer to the most recent version of the conservation law.


    To do your work, you also need the landowners’ written permission and must be on their property. If control activities would be more effective on neighboring land, you’d need to secure written permission from that landowner. And if you want to release an animal onto someone else’s land, you must have their permission.


    One other “protected” species


    As a NWCO, you are also required to act in a reasonable way that will protect the public from attack by the animals you’re handling (under Article 26, section 370 of the NYS Agriculture and Markets Law). And you must not allow any physical contact between venomous snakes and the public. Here’s the actual text of that law, excerpted from the Agriculture and Market regulations, Article 26 (Cruelty to Animals):


    1. Protection of the public from attack by wild animals and reptiles.


    Any person owning, possessing or harboring a wild animal or reptile capable of inflicting bodily harm upon a human being, who shall fail to exercise due care in safeguarding the public from attack by such wild animal or reptile, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or by both. “Wild animal” within the meaning of this section, shall not include a dog or cat or other domestic animal. Previous attacks upon a human being by such wild animal or reptile, or knowledge of the vicious propensities of such wild animal or reptile, on the part of the possessor or harborer thereof, shall not be required to be proven by the people upon a prosecution hereunder; and neither the fact that such wild animal or reptile has not previously attacked a human being, nor lack of knowledge of the vicious propensities of such wild animal or reptile on the part of the owner, possessor or harborer thereof shall constitute a defense to a prosecution hereunder.”


    Which species can licensed NWCOs handle or take in NY—and when?


    CAN DO! (Categories 1–4)


    1. I. Anytime without additional permits


    Mammals:


    • bats (except Indiana bat and the eastern small-footed bat). Protected status for northern long-eared bats, little brown bats, and tri-colored bats is being considered. Check the DEC website for updates.
    • chipmunks
    • flying squirrels and red squirrels
    • mice
    • moles
    • porcupine
    • rats (except Allegheny woodrat)
    • shrews
    • voles
    • woodchuck


    Birds:


    • common pigeon (unless it’s banded)
    • house (a.k.a. English) sparrow
    • European starling


    2: When the animal has damaged property, can take any animal from category 1, plus—


    Mammals:


    without any additional permits


    • cottontail rabbit
    • coyote
    • muskrat
    • red and gray foxes
    • snowshoe (a.k.a. varying) hare
    • opossum
    • striped skunk
    • squirrels: black, gray, and fox squirrels
    • weasels


    with a DEC permit 
    (obtained by landowner)—


    • beaver
    • black bear
    • bobcat
    • deer
    • Eurasian boar (free roaming)
    • fisher
    • European hare
    • marten (a.k.a. pine marten)
    • otter


    Reptiles (with DEC permit obtained by landowner)


    • turtles: except mud, bog, Blanding’s and sea turtles.
    • snakes: except queen snake, timber rattlesnake and massasauga


    Birds (with USFWS and DEC permits obtained by landowner)


    • Crow (no permits needed)
    • Turkey (just need DEC permit)
    • Canada goose
    • Cormorants
    • Ducks
    • Great blue herons
    • Snow goose
    • Sparrows (other than house sparrow)
    • Swans (Mute swans with DEC permit)
    • Waterfowl
    • Woodpeckers
    • Migratory birds fall into this category


    3: When it’s simply a nuisance—


    The DEC may issue a permit, but this is less likely. If you need permit(s) to take an animal when it’s damaged property, you need the same permits to take it if it’s just a nuisance.


    Even if they are just a nuisance, you’d need a DEC permit to take:


    • cottontail rabbits
    • coyotes
    • red and gray foxes
    • European and snowshoe (a.k.a. varying) hares
    • muskrats
    • opossums
    • raccoons
    • squirrels: black, gray, and fox squirrels
    • weasels


    Exceptions:


    • striped skunks, no permit required
    • crows, if causing nuisance on cultivated land, no permit required


    4: Special cases—


    Mammals:


    • black bear: if destroying livestock or apiary, no permit needed


    Birds:


    If they’re destroying crops from June through October, you can also take these three species without permits: cowbirds, grackles, and red-winged blackbirds.


    When an animal threatens public health or welfare:


    The DEC can issue a permit to anyone to take any wildlife (except federally endangered and threatened species) in this case.


    NO WAY, NO HOW:


    • take endangered and threatened species (Perhaps, in a rare situation, you’d secure the USFWS and DEC permits that would allow you to handle—but not take—such species. But during normal working NWCO life? No).
    • take Antwerp or homing pigeons that are wearing leg bands (Specified in New York State law, ECL 11-0513).
    • take cats and dogs, whether they’re feral or domestic (There be drag The NWCO license covers wildlife, not domestic animals, such as cats and dogs. They’re covered by NYS Ag. & Market laws. This is risky territory. As a NWCO, steer clear).


    Which species can licensed NWCOs handle in NY-and when?


    Animal Anytime It’s just a nuisance It damaged property In specific defined circumstances
    Mammals that more commonly cause nuisances:
    Bats (except Indiana bat and eastern small-footed bat. Long-eared bat, little brown bat, and tri-colored bat may also be protected soon) Contact DEC Contact DEC Contact DEC N/A
    Beaver No Permit A Permit A Permit A
    Black Bear No Permit A Permit A If destroying livestock or apiary, no permit needed
    Chipmunk Yes Yes Yes N/A
    Coyote No Permit A Yes N/A
    Deer (white-tailed) No Permit A Permit A Permit A
    Eurasian boar (free roaming) No Permit A Permit A N/A
    Foxes (red and gray) No Permit A Yes N/A
    Mice Yes Yes Yes N/A
    Moles Yes Yes Yes N/A
    Muskrat No Permit A Yes N/A
    Rabbit (cottontail) No Permit A Yes N/A
    Raccoon No Permit A Yes N/A
    Rats (except Allegheny woodrat) Yes Yes Yes N/A
    Shrews Yes Yes Yes N/A
    Skunk (striped) No Yes Yes N/A
    Squirrels (flying and red) Yes Yes Yes N/A
    Squirrels (gray, black, fox) No Permit A Yes N/A
    Voles Yes Yes Yes N/A
    Woodchuck Yes Yes Yes N/A
    Mammals that may cause nuisances N/A
    Bobcat No Permit A Permit A N/A
    Fisher No Permit A Permit A N/A
    European hare No Permit A Permit A N/A
    Snowshoe (a.k.a. varying) hare No Permit A Yes N/A
    Marten (a.k.a. pine marten) No Permit A Permit A N/A
    Mink No Permit A Permit A N/A
    Opossum No Permit A Permit A N/A
    Otter (river otter) No Permit A Permit A N/A
    Porcupine Yes Yes Yes N/A
    Weasels No Permit A Yes N/A
    “Permit A” means: Unless specifically listed and allowed on your NWCO license, you would need an additional permit from the DEC to handle this species (or group of species) under this situation. “Permit B” means: Only with US FWS and DEC permits“Permit C” means: PERHAPS with US FWS and DEC permits (for handling, not taking, of these rare species) 
    Animal Anytime It’s just a nuisance It damaged property In specific defined circumstances
    Reptiles:Snakes (except queen snake, timber rattlesnake, massauga) No Permit A Permit A N/A
    Turtles (except mud, bog, Blanding’s, and sea turtles. No Permit A Permit A N/A
    Birds:
    Canada goose No Permit B Permit B Permit B
    Red-winged blackbird No No Special case >>>>>> Yes, when destroying crops from June-October
    Cowbird No No Special case >>>>>> Yes, when destroying crops from June-October
    Crow No Yes, if on cultivated fields Yes N/A
    Ducks No Permit B Permit B Permit B
    English sparrow (house sparrow) Yes Yes Yes N/A
    Grackle No No Special case >>>>>>>> Yes, when destroying crops from June-October
    Pigeon (not wearing leg bands) Yes Yes Yes N/A
    Europeans starling Yes Yes Yes N/A
    Mute Swan No Permit A Permit A Permit A
    Turkey No Permit A Permit A N/A
    Migratory birds, in general (such as song birds, birds of prey, waterfowl, and woodpeckers) No Permit B Permit B Permit B
    No Way, NO HOW:
    Cats and Dogs (feral or domestic) No No No No
    Pigeons wearing leg bands No No No No
    Endangered or threatened spp. No No No Permit C
    Indiana bat and eastern small-footed bat (northern long-eared bat, little brown bat, and tri-colored bat are proposed for protection) No No No Permit C
    Allegheny woodrat No No No Permit C
    Queen snake, massauga, timber rattlesnake No No No Permit C
    “Permit A” means: Unless specifically listed and allowed on your NWCO license, you would need an additional permit from the DEC to handle this species (or group of species) under this situation. “Permit B” means: Only with US FWS and DEC permits“Permit C” means: PERHAPS with US FWS and DEC permits (for handling, not taking, of these rare species)


    Higher, deeper, further… (activities to explore other perspectives about this topic)


    • Find out how your town manages stray dogs and cats. What are the policies of the nearest animal shelter? How might those policies affect your business?
    • Read the Environmental Conservation Law and the NYS Sanitary Code (included at the end of this chapter).


    Summary


    Before you answer the review questions, you may wish to think about the learning objectives for this section:


    1. Name three “rabies vector species” in New York, and the agency with the authority to decide what happens to a nuisance animal that’s a rabies vector species.
    2. List two legal control techniques that may be used on a federally-protected bird without obtaining the special depredation permits.
    3. Explain two options for dealing with a problem involving a game species.
    4. Identify the laws that regulate the management of dogs and feral cats in New York.
    5. In addition to your NWCO license, what other paper work do you need to do your job?


    Review questions:


    1. 1. Which of the following wildlife are considered “rabies vector species” in New York State? (Check all that apply)


                   Bats


                   Cats


                   Foxes


                   Raccoons


                   Dogs


                   Pigeons


                   Skunks


                   Rabbits


    1. Deer have destroyed your customer’s newly planted and expensive landscaping and he’s fed up. What advice can you offer over the phone?
    2. Since it’s deer season, he can invite hunters onto his property and that may solve the problem for free
    3. Offer to secure the special permit from the DEC that will allow you to deal with the deer
    4. Tell him to call the regional DEC wildlife office to request a permit; then you can help
    5. More than one answer is correct
    6. The New York State laws that regulate the control of dogs and cats are
    7. Environmental Conservation Law
    8. Agriculture & Markets Regulations, articles 7 and 26
    9. New York State Humane Activities Code
    10. Domestic Animals Act of New York State, article 6
    11. Before you can begin work, you need
    12. the landowner’s written permission
    13. approval from all of the neighbors
    14. to check in with the local animal control officer coffee, and lots of
    15. Restaurant owners want you to deal with the gulls that are feeding at the dumpster and annoying the customers, but they don’t want to wait. You suggest
    16. Read Johnathan Livingston Seagull, take a yoga class, and chill
    17. Even without the necessary permits, you can try to frighten them away by hazing them with dogs or using noisemakers
    18. Better trash management will make the site less attractive to the gulls. They should empty and clean the dumpster more
    19. You can show up tomorrow to capture the bir Is that OK?
    20. b & c
    21. c & d


    Answers:


    1—bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes


    2—d (answers “a” and “c” are correct)


    3—b


    4—a


    5—e


    SECTION THREE: OTHER PERTINENT STATE LAWS


    Learning objectives for section three:


    1. Name the agency that regulates the licensing of commercial pesticide applicators in New York State.
    2. List four things you are required to do by the New York State Sanitary Code.
    3. Describe three scenarios of what might happen to an unvaccinated dog that’s bitten a person, possibly exposing that person to rabies.
    4. List three rules that apply to the use of firearms.
    5. FIFRA and state pesticide regulations place four crucial restrictions on NWCO activity—name them.


    State pesticide laws and regulations


    Regulatory agency: DEC


    Applicable to: pesticide use (the handling, use, storage, transportation, sale, and disposal of pesticides)


    License required: pesticide applicator license for the use of restricted-use pesticides, or for the commercial application of pesticides. The commercial pesticide applicator license is broken down into 28 categories and subcategories, each requiring its own certification.


    Read the laws and regulations:


    online suggested—http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations8527.html


    (The DEC site includes links to the many laws and regulations related to pesticides, such as the pesticide control regulations [6 NYCRR parts 320–329], the relevant parts of the ECL [Article 33, parts of Articles 15 and 71], the pesticide reporting law, neighbor notification law, and mosquito control laws).


    Before we discussed the aspects of FIFRA, the federal pesticide law, that are managed by the US-EPA. Now we’ll discuss the DEC’s role.


    New York State law adds a few new wrinkles to the use of pesticides. Remember that according to FIFRA, anyone in the nation who wants to apply a restricted-use pesticide must be a certified applicator? Well, New York State regulations require that anyone who wants to apply ANY pesticide on someone else’s property must have commercial pesticide certification. That might mean you.


    If you want to use pesticides in your NWCO business, you will need a state commercial pesticide applicator license. Some NWCOs also seek this license, especially if they expect to handle many rodent jobs, or want the option of applying repellents, or fumigating burrows.


    The DEC’s Bureau of Pesticide Management is in charge of this license. You’ll have to go through a separate training and take a different test. (Reinforce your bookcase, because there’s another big manual involved). There are continuing education requirements, too. Contact the DEC or the Pesticide Management Education Program at Cornell University for more information.


    There are a few crucial points to keep in mind concerning FIFRA and the state pesticide regulations:


    • In New York State, the minute you step onto someone else’s property, the laws for the commercial application of pesticides come into play.
    • UNLESS you also have a commercial pesticide certification (and a pesticide business registration) you cannot apply any pesticides on someone else’s property. No deer or snake repellents. No mothballs, No bird repellents. No poisonous mouse bait. No product that has an EPA number on its label. Got it?
    • You can advise landowners about using repellents or other general use pesticides as part of their control strategy, but you cannot provide the service unless you also have a commercial pesticide certification. (They can use these products themselves.)
    • ALWAYS read and follow the pesticide label instructions. The label is the law. Any use not list on the label is prohibited.


    But what if you’re hired to exclude bats from an attic, and there’s a huge wasp’s nest under the eave so close to the bat’s entry hole that you’re afraid you’ll be stung while you’re up on the ladder installing the checkvalve, and might fall? If nesting stinging insects present an immediate danger while you’re trying to do your job, you may apply a general use pesticide such as a wasp or hornet spray for your personal protection. This is considered an “emergency non-routine application,” not a commercial pesticide application.


    You can’t spray to protect your customers, even if they ask you to take care of it while you’re up there. Best advice is: don’t go out of your way looking for stinging insects for a customer; and if you do spray to protect yourself, don’t charge for it.


    New York State Sanitary Code:


    Regulatory agency: NYS Dept. of Health


    Applicable to: all New Yorkers


    License required: N/A


    Read the law:


    online– http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/zoonoses/rabies/sancode.htm


    print—Public Health Law Article 21 Title 4, sections 2140–2146 and Chapter 1, Title 10 Part 2, section 2.14


    This law deals with the control of rabies, the reporting of potentially rabid animals and of human and animal exposures to a potentially rabid animal. It also specifies what happens to a potentially rabid animal (wild animals and domestic animals may be treated differently), and what happens to a domestic animal that was exposed to a known rabid animal. The law also calls for rabies vaccinations of cats under certain conditions.


    The full text of the sanitary code is included at the end of this chapter. Here are the key points:


    • If you suspect an animal is rabid, you must report it to the local health authority immediately. [“Rabies suspect” is defined in section 5 (e).]
    • Bats and any animal other than a dog, cat, ferret, or domestic livestock suspected of being rabid shall be destroyed immediately and submitted for rabies testing, with the approval of the local health authority.
    • Health care providers must report all cases of human exposure to rabies to the local health authority immediately. (“Exposure” is defined in (a) 2.)
    • If a person has been potentially exposed to rabies by a dog, cat, ferret, or domestic livestock, the local health authority may have the animal confined for 10 days at the owner’s expense. With the owner’s approval, the health authority may have the animal destroyed immediately and submitted for rabies testing.
    • If the owner cannot be determined, the costs fall to the person who asked for the confinement. In this case, if confinement isn’t possible or desirable, the animal may be destroyed immediately and submitted for testing.
    • Should an animal develop signs of rabies during its isolation, it shall be destroyed and submitted for rabies testing.
    • Any mammal that’s been in direct contact with a known rabid animal shall either be destroyed or quarantined for six months. The costs are paid by the owner. If the animal was vaccinated before the exposure, it may be isolated under the owner’s control if it receives a booster shot within five days of exposure. Any animal under such restrictions shall not be moved from one health district to another during the quarantine period except with the permission of the health authorities in both districts.
    • Whenever rabies is confirmed in a county, all cats in that county who are over three months old must be vaccinated (this doesn’t apply to tourists staying less than 15 days, to animals in shelters, hospitals, research facilities, or breeding facilities).


    Agriculture and Markets Law Article 26, Cruelty to Animals Law


    Regulatory agencies: Animal Industry Division of the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets


    Applicable to: cats and dogs and other domestic and farm animals


    Read the law:


    online-  http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/AGM/26


    print—  http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/ai/AILaws/Article-26.pdf


    For a NWCO, the key sections are:


    Part 374: Humane destruction or other disposition of animals lost, strayed, homeless, abandoned or improperly confined or kept


    Part 360: Poisoning or attempting to poison animals


    Part 353-a: Aggravated cruelty to animals


    Part 366: Dog stealing


    Part 356: Failure to provide proper food and drink to an impounded animal


    Part 377: Disposal of dead animals (refers to large domestic animals)


    Agriculture and Markets regulations, Article 7, Licensing, Identification and Control of Dogs and Animal Population Control Program


    Regulatory agencies: Animal Industry Division of the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets


    Applicable to: dogs and cats


    Read the law: http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/ai/AILaws/article7.pdf


    (primarily, this is Article 7, sections 106–126; but there are many excerpts from other laws, so it’s easiest to download the circular)


    For a NWCO, the key sections are:


    Section 117: Seizure of dogs; redemption period; impoundment fees; adoption


    Section 121: Dangerous dogs


    Section 117-a: Animal population control program


    Section 114: Dog control officers


    Part 77, section 77.2: Standards for the care of seized dogs


    Part 77, section 77.3: Euthanasia and disposal


    Section 2140 (Public Health law, title IV, article 21): Rabies; prevention of the spread


    Section 2142: Rabies; dogs at large; seizure and disposal; reports


    Section 2145: Rabies; compulsory vaccination; violation; penalty


    Firearm ordinances


    “Firearm” is defined in 6 NYCRR part 180.3A as “any gun or other instrument which by force of gunpowder or other explosive, or which by the force of a spring, air or other gas, expels a missile or projectile capable of killing, wounding or otherwise inflicting physical damage upon fish, wildlife or other animals.” This includes shotguns, rifles, pistols, muzzleloaders, air guns, and dart rifles. Under state law, bows (long bows and crossbows) are not considered firearms.


    Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. There are also local firearm regulations, and they may differ from state law. Some local laws are more restrictive. Some define other devices, such as bows, as “firearms.” You must obey both state and local regulations. To learn more, check the International Hunter Education Association website at www.ihea.com or consider attending the DEC’s hunter education course or a firearms safety course sponsored by the National Rifle Association (NRA).


    Here are a few points on gun safety:


    • shotguns and rifles must be unloaded when carried in a motor vehicle
    • firearms can’t be discharged across a public highway or maintained right-of-way
    • rifles aren’t allowed in the field on Long Island, or in Westchester County
    • legal discharge distance for firearms is 500 feet, for bows it is 150 feet, and crossbows it is 250 feet (unless agraph –>

      Section 114: Dog control officers


      Part 77, section 77.2: Standards for the care of seized dogs


      Part 77, section 77.3: Euthanasia and disposal


      Section 2140 (Public Health law, title IV, article 21): Rabies; prevention of the spread


      Section 2142: Rabies; dogs at large; seizure and disposal; reports


      Section 2145: Rabies; compulsory vaccination; violation; penalty


      Firearm ordinances


      “Firearm” is defined in 6 NYCRR part 180.3A as “any gun or other instrument which by force of gunpowder or other explosive, or which by the force of a spring, air or other gas, expels a missile or projectile capable of killing, wounding or otherwise inflicting physical damage upon fish, wildlife or other animals.” This includes shotguns, rifles, pistols, muzzleloaders, air guns, and dart rifles. Under state law, bows (long bows and crossbows) are not considered firearms.


      Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. There are also local firearm regulations, and they may differ from state law. Some local laws are more restrictive. Some define other devices, such as bows, as “firearms.” You must obey both state and local regulations. To learn more, check the International Hunter Education Association website at www.ihea.com or consider attending the DEC’s hunter education course or a firearms safety course sponsored by the National Rifle Association (NRA).


      Here are a few points on gun safety:


      • shotguns and rifles must be unloaded when carried in a motor vehicle
      • firearms can’t be discharged across a public highway or maintained right-of-way
      • rifles aren’t allowed in the field on Long Island, or in Westchester County
      • legal discharge distance for firearms is 500 feet, for bows it is 150 feet, and crossbows it is 250 feet (unless you have permission from the owner of the building).


      The last point explains how far you must be from a building in order to shoot legally. You must be more than that set back distance from


      • a school, playground, or occupied factory or church
      • a home, or occupied or used farm building or structure (unless you own it, lease it, are an immediate member of the family, an employee, or have the owner’s consent).


      How far is 500 feet? Most people are poor judges of distance. You may want to take a tape measure outdoors and actually pace off the distance a few times. Unfortunately, you have to stretch your vision even more because you have to consider 500 feet in all directions. That’s 18 acres, or about as big as 16 football fields, just a bit smaller than the area covered by the White House.


      Building codes


      Building codes are relevant if you offer repair or exclusion services, such as adding a cap to a chimney to keep raccoons out. These regulations vary across the state, and are updated regularly.


      Higher, deeper, further… (optional activities to explore perspectives about this topic)


      • Check local building codes, firearms, and pest control ordinances. Would any influence your ability to control pigeons, repair a building and add exclusion devices, use firearms or traps?
      • Attend a firearms safety course.


      Summary


      Before you answer the review questions, you may wish to think about the learning objectives for this section:


      1. Name the agency that regulates the licensing of commercial pesticide applicators in New York State.
      2. List four things you are required to do by the New York State Sanitary Code.
      3. Describe three scenarios of what might happen to an unvaccinated dog that’s bitten a person, possibly exposing that person to rabies.
      4. List three rules that apply to the use of firearms.
      5. FIFRA and state pesticide regulations place four crucial restrictions on NWCO activity—name them.


      Review questions


      1. You’re talking to a man on the phone, and he’s frantic. A stray dog has bitten his child. He wants you to capture it and have it tested for rabies. When you get there, the child is screaming and doesn’t want to let you near the dog if you’re going to kill it. What do you do?
      2. call the county health department
      3. restrain and isolate the animal, then try to find out who owns the dog
      4. explain that the dog doesn’t have to be killed. It could be held in quarantine for ten days to determine if it’s rabid, but if the owner can’t be found, they’d have to pay for it.
      5. all of the above
      6. Who certifies commercial pesticide applicators in New York State?
      7. US EPA
      8. Pesticide Applicator Board, NYS Dept. of Agriculture and Markets
      9. Bureau of Pesticide Management, NYS DEC
      10. None of the above
      11. The New York State Sanitary Code
      12. requires you to report potentially rabid animals and cases when a person or animal may have been exposed to rabies.
      13. regulates the operation of commercial kitchens in restaurants, schools, nursing homes, and hospitals
      14. applies only when a person has been exposed to rabies
      15. focuses on wildlife, not domestic animals


      Answers:


      1—d


      2—a AND c


      3—a


      SECTION FOUR: LOCAL LAWS (COUNTY, CITY, TOWN, VILLAGE)


      There are a variety of local laws that may affect your NWCO business. Some address control techniques, such as trapping or the use of firearms or pesticides. Health codes or other regulations may restrict the transportation of wildlife; for example, trapped animals can’t be removed from, or brought into, Long Island or New York City.


      Building codes and fire codes dictate the design and construction of exclusion devices, such as chimney caps; there may even be specific regulations about electric fences. Certain species may receive added protection in some areas.


      Chapter summary


      These were the overall learning objectives for the chapter. How well do you feel you’ve mastered them?


      • Know which federal and state agencies regulate aspects of the nuisance wildlife control industry.
      • Understand the various state and federal laws about handling wildlife and using pesticides.
      • Recognize which situations a NWCO can handle—and which are beyond your authority.
      • Know when a state and/or federal permit is required.
      • Realize that building codes, firearm ordinances, and other local regulations may apply to your work.
      • Be aware of the requirements and procedures for attaining a state nuisance wildlife control operator license.


      Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife


      Please check the most current lists of endangered and threatened species and species of special concern.


      The DEC maintains current and complete lists on its website at: http://www1.dec.state.ny.us/animals/29338.html


      Definitions


      Extinct: Species is no longer living or existing.


      Extirpated: Species is not extinct, but no longer occurring in a wild state within New York, or no longer exhibiting patterns of use traditional for that species in New York (e.g., historical breeders no longer breeding here).


      Endangered: Any native species in imminent danger of extirpation or extinction in New York State.


      Threatened: Any native species likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future in New York State.


      Special Concern: Any native species for which a welfare concern or risk of endangerment has been documented in New York State.


      Authority: Environmental Conservation Law of New York, Section 11-0535 and 6 NYCRR (New York Codes, Rules and Regulations) Part 182 – effective (last promulgated in state regulation) December 4, 1999.


      Here are the excerpts of the state laws referred to in this chapter that are most relevant to NWCOs. This is the way the laws actually read. Please note: Accurate at time of printing but readers should check for amendments and new laws and regulations.