Wildlife experts say they are seeing an increase in animals caught in traps

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Wildlife experts were recently called out to Virginia Beach try to help a raccoon hanging from a tree.

“We got a call from one of the wildlife rehab organizations saying, ‘Hey there’s a situation, there’s a raccoon about 30 foot or so in a tree and its hanging there by like a foot hold trap,'” said Brian Fiske with ACME Animal Control.

Fiske says it was raining and starting to get dark, so the experts called in Virginia Beach Fire Department to help.

“The situation after they got the raccoon down, there was so much damage to the leg and paw it had to be euthanized,” he said.

Another wildlife rehabber said in December a fox was caught in a trap and lost two toes.

So, WAVY News asked: What’s legal and illegal when it comes to trapping?

“When you’re using traps like foot hold traps or kill traps, it’s not illegal in the state of Virginia to use them. You just got to be cautious on where you use them,” said Fiske.

But Fiske says there are also regulations you must follow.

“The laws and regulations when it comes to trapping … traps have to be checked every 24 hours it’s against the law to leave an animal in a trap more than 24-hour period without food or water,” he said.

He says you must also have an identifying tag or information on the trap.

“Any company that comes out to your property has to have a commercial nuisance animal removal permit issued by the state fish and game department. If they don’t have this, it’s illegal to do wildlife removal.” said Fiske.

But for property owners setting traps themselves, it’s a little different.

“If it’s on your own property, you are able to set the traps on your property and they do not have to be tagged, but if it’s off your property or you have someone coming over and doing the trapping on your property, it has to be tagged,” he said.

He says his company uses live humane traps. He says it’s important to know the laws.

“You really have to know what you’re doing, because you know the animal suffers in the end if you’re not educated or experienced in trapping,” said Fiske.

If you’re looking for more information on what’s legal and what’s illegal when it comes to trapping, you can find that information here: https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/

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