Section V-127 – Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator Program
1. The purpose of this Section
is to establish guidelines for the permitting of Nuisance Wildlife Control
Operators (NWCO’s) and the procedures to be used by the NWCO’s in controlling
2. NWCO’s are defined as
individuals who offer commercial services for the control of nuisance wildlife.
1. All NWCOs must have a
valid NWCO permit issued by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
(LDWF) in their possession while engaged in nuisance wildlife control
activities. NWCO permits are issued only to individuals and each individual
engaged in NWCO activities must possess a NWCO permit issued in his/her name.
This rule does not provide for or authorize any NWCO to name a subpermittee.
2. In addition to the NWCO
permit, all NWCOs must possess a valid Louisiana trapping license and valid
Louisiana basic hunting license (or equivalent) in their possession while
engaged in nuisance wildlife control activities. Additionally, any NWCO
servicing non-protected reptile and amphibian nuisance calls must possess a
valid basic fishing license or equivalent.
3. NWCO permits will be
issued on a calendar year basis (January 1-December 31) and must be renewed
C. Permit Requirements
1. All applicants must be 18
years of age or older.
2. The applicant must
achieve a minimum score of 80 percent on the LDWF NWCO examination. The
examination shall consist of questions relating to wildlife biology and
behavior, nuisance animal control methods and procedures, and nuisance wildlife
control laws, rules and regulations. Any applicant who fails to pass the
examination may take another examination no earlier than 30 days from the date
of the prior examination. Applicants may not attempt to take the NWCO
examination more than three times per calendar year.
3. Anyone who has been
convicted of a Class II or greater wildlife violation in Louisiana, or the
equivalent in another state within the past three years, or has been convicted
of a felony in Louisiana or another state, shall not be eligible for a NWCO
permit. Also, any person whose hunting or trapping license privileges have been
revoked and is prohibited from hunting and trapping in Louisiana shall not be
allowed to possess or operate under the authority of a NWCO permit.
4. All applicants must attend
a LDWF sponsored NWCO training class prior to or within 6 months of receiving
their permit. A class registration charge may be applied. Those NWCOs with
valid permits at the time this rule becomes effective will have one year from
the effective date of amended regulations to complete the training class
requirement. All NWCOs are required to attend six hours of LDWF approved
continuing education every three years after attending the NWCO training class.
Failure to attend the training class or obtain the six hours of LDWF approved
continuing education every three years will result in revocation of the NWCO
1. Employees of the
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana Department of
Agriculture and Forestry, Louisiana Department of Transportation and
Development, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Services
are exempt from all NWCO permit requirements while they are on duty and
carrying out official business of their respective agency. Also, city, parish,
or local municipal government employees assigned to animal control duties are
exempt from permit requirements while on duty and carrying out official
business of their respective agency. It is recommended that exempted agencies
adopt a policy requiring euthanasia of all skunks, raccoons, feral hogs,
coyotes, and nutria. Animals that are not euthanized may not be released on
LDWF owned or managed land such as wildlife management areas or refuges and may
not be sold, bartered or exchanged.
E. Reporting and Renewal
1. All nuisance wildlife
complaints that result in a site visit by a NWCO must be fully documented on
Nuisance Wildlife Complaint Forms or in a format provided by LDWF.
2. Nuisance Wildlife
Complaint Forms for the permit period must be submitted to the LDWF no later
than 30 days following the expiration of the permit and NWCO permits will not
be renewed until these forms are received. Reports will cover the period from
December 1 of the prior license year to November 30 of the current license
year. However, the 30 day grace period that follows expiration of the NWCO
permit, applies to report filing only and does not authorize NWCOs to engage in
nuisance wildlife control activities without a current NWCO permit.
3. Any NWCO who does not
submit his/her report by the 30th day after the expiration date of the permit,
or who submits a false or materially incomplete report shall be issued a
citation for violation of Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission rules and
regulations. If the citation does not result in a conviction, plea of guilty,
or plea of no contest, the NWCO will be considered for reapplication upon
receipt of the late Nuisance Wildlife Complaint Form(s).
4. Report forms must be
current and shall be available for inspection at all times by Wildlife
Enforcement Agents or any other authorized representatives of the department.
NWCOs must maintain copies of all Nuisance Wildlife Complaint Forms for three
F. Procedures and Guidelines
1. The NWCO permit
authorizes the holder to capture, euthanize or relocate designated species of
wildlife by safe and effective means at any time of the year and without limits
provided the operator is acting on a valid, documented wildlife complaint.
2. The following procedures
and guidelines for NWCO permittees shall be in effect to establish what species
of wildlife may be taken under the authority of this permit, the legal methods
that may be used to take nuisance wildlife under the authority of this permit,
and the legal methods of disposing of nuisance wildlife.
a. Only wildlife damage or
nuisance complaints affecting humans and/or their property are considered valid
complaints. Complaints involving conflicts between two or more species of
wildlife are not valid nuisance wildlife complaints.
b. NWCO permittees are only
authorized to live trap and relocate, live trap and euthanize, or lethally trap
the following species when such action is warranted by a valid nuisance
wildlife complaint: armadillo, beaver, bobcat, coyote, feral hogs, fox, mink,
muskrat, nutria, opossum, otter, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel (including flying
squirrel) and skunk. NWCO permittees are only authorized to live trap and
relocate, live trap and euthanize, or lethally trap reptiles and amphibians
that are not protected by federal law. Nuisance birds may be controlled as
provided by existing law. Bats may be controlled by exclusion or by capture and
relocation only. Bats shall not be controlled by any lethal methods. It is
recommended all NWCOs working with bats complete the Bat Conservation
International (BCI) professional excluders’ course available on-line.
c. The NWCO permit does NOT authorize the capture and/or
handling of white-tailed deer, bears, wild turkeys or alligators.
d. The sale, trade, barter,
gifting or retention of any wildlife or part thereof taken under the authority
of a NWCO permit is prohibited except that furbearers taken during the open
trapping season may be sold as provided by law. Additionally, individuals
wishing to trap coyotes outside of open trapping season may do so with the
purchase of an annual special permit which may be issued to a Louisiana
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries approved applicant for the trapping of
coyotes only, outside of the annual trapping season. In order for the permittee
to sell live coyotes he must also possess a nongame quadruped breeders license
(R.S. 56:262.1) and a valid trapping license.
e. NWCO permittees must
follow all state and federal laws, rules and regulations that apply to the
taking of wildlife, with the exception of season dates and bag limits, except
as otherwise provided in this section.
f. All wildlife taken
under a NWCO permit shall be taken and disposed of in a manner to ensure safe
and effective handling and/or euthanasia. Acceptable carcass disposal options
include deep burial (four feet), incineration, and sanitary landfills. Disposal
of carcasses must be in compliance with all local codes and ordinances.
Euthanasia of a captured animal is to be performed under the guidelines adopted
by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
g. Traps or other capture
devices set for live capture (including leg hold traps) shall be checked a
minimum of once every 24 hours and all animals removed. Traps intended to
result in immediate death must be checked a minimum of once every 48 hours. All
traps and other capture devices shall be marked with permanent tags bearing the
telephone number and LDWF issued permit number of the NWCO.
h. Only legal methods of
take, as provided by existing law, shall be authorized under the NWCO permit.
In addition to legal traps and snares, nets and capture by hand are authorized.
i. All traps and other capture devices shall
be set in a manner that:
ii. will minimize the risk to non-target
iii. will minimize the risk to the public and
to pets; and
iv. are out of the view of the general
j. The NWCO permit does
not authorize the use of firearms, except that nutria, beaver, coyotes,
armadillos and feral hogs where legal, may be taken as provided by existing law.
Firearms may also be used in accordance with the American Veterinary Medical
Association (AVMA) guidelines on euthanasia. Discharge of any firearms shall be
subject to all state, parish and municipal restrictions and ordinances.
k. When relocation is
authorized, the NWCO may have the wildlife in possession for no more than 24
hours unless specifically authorized by the department.
l. Wildlife that is
relocated shall be released at least five miles outside of any city limit and
must be released within the state of Louisiana.
m. Wildlife shall not be
released on private land without written permission of the landowner or
n. Wildlife shall not be
released on public land without first obtaining written permission from the
governmental entity owning or administering the release property.
o. Captured wildlife that
appears to be sick or injured shall not be relocated. NWCOs must contact the
appropriate LDWF regional office for instructions regarding sick wildlife.
Injured animals may be delivered to a licensed rehabilitator or euthanized in
accordance with AVMA guidelines.
p. Raccoons, skunks, feral
hogs, coyotes and nutria shall not be relocated and shall be euthanized, within
12 hours of capture, in accordance with the current AVMA guidelines on
AUTHORITY NOTE: Promulgated
in accordance with the Louisiana Constitution, Article IX, Section 7, R.S.
56:1, R.S. 56:5, R.S. 56:6 (10) and (15), and R.S. 56:112 et seq.
HISTORICAL NOTE: Promulgated by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, LR 30:2080 (September 2004), amended LR 36:75 (January 2010).