Massachusetts

Regulatory Agency


Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife)


  • Field Headquarters: 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581
  • Phone: (508)-389-6300
  • Fax: 508-389-7890
  • Email: Mass.Wildlife@mass.gov


License Details


Fees


A Problem Animal Control license cost $100 for residents.


A Problem Animal Control license cost $200 for non-residents


A trapping license costs $35.50 and a $5 fee for trap registration


License Duration


A Problem Animal Control license is valid from the date it is issued to December 31st of the same year


How to Apply


  • An individual must pass a Trapper Education Course and obtain a trap registration number
  • Once they pass the Trapper Education Course they must purchase a trapping license. A trapping license can be purchased online or at a license vendor
  • Fill out a form to get a trap registration number
  • Pass a written exam that covers biology, handling, capture techniques, animal welfare, diseases, and parasites. One may prepare for the exam with a handbook that can be obtained through MassWildlife. 
    • Send a check for $15 payable to “MA Division of Fisheries and Wildife” to: 
    • PAC Handbook 
      MassWildlife 
      1 Rabbit Hill Road 
      Westborough, MA 01581 
  • When ready to take the Problem Animal Control exam, call to schedule a time at a local MassWildlife office.
  • After passing the exam and obtaining a trap registration number, fill out and send in the PAC application


Renewal and Reporting


An annual report form must be submitted


PAC licenses must be renewed annually by December 31st


The trap registration number is the individual’s for life, but it must be renewed every two years, the renewable fee is $5.00 


If coyotes are removed from a property a coyote report form must be submitted


Laws and Regulations


  • PAC agents are authorized only in the handling of skunk, muskrat, raccoon, weasel, red fox, gray fox, porcupine, Norway rat, mice, voles, red, gray and flying squirrel, opossum, chipmunk, rabbit, woodchuck, snapping turtle, moles, pigeon, house sparrow, starling and certain species of bats. 
  • PAC agents may only handle coyotes if they have completed a MassWildlife training and certification program about coyotes. PAC agents must also follow certain reporting requirements before taking or attempting to take a coyote. Contact the Westborough office at (508) 389-6300 for more details. 
  • A PAC agent who has not completed the course may be hire to harass coyotes
  • An emergency permit may be issued to catch any species other than beaver or muskrat within a 10-day period. All animals caught under this permit must be turned over to the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.
  • If you have damage caused by migratory birds and other birds such as woodpeckers, which are protected under both state and federal law, you will require a permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services Office in Amherst (413) 253-2403 to deal with the birds.  
  • PAC agents must have a hunting license to euthanize animals with a firearm. You can buy a state hunting license if you have a hunting license or have completed a hunter education course from another state. 
  • PAC agents must have a gun license to use a gun. You can get a license from your local police department. You may have to pass a gun safety course before applying. 


Laws Regarding Translocation


PAC agents are not allowed to move and release animals caught on one property onto another 


Trap Tags


Traps must be registered and have trap number engraved on the trap


Hunting and Trapping License


A hunting license is required if a firearm is going to be used to euthanize an animal


A trapping license is required to remove nuisance wildlife