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Require Humane Treatment of Urban Wildlife and Protect Consumers

Raccoon in trap
Why Is Relocating an Animal Both Inhumane and Illegal?

Relocating wildlife sounds like a humane alternative to a nuisance animal problem (i.e. "I'll trap this raccoon and take him to Mt. Tam where he'll be happy and wild"), but it is illegal in California and this is for good reason.

Studies show that more than 75% of relocated animals die within their first year in their new "home." Relocation sentences the relocated animal to a slow death by starvation because he doesn't know where to find food, shelter or water and/or infection and injury from being attacked by the local population defending their territory.

It can spread diseases and parasites to populations that did not have them before and can overpopulate areas that cannot sustain additional animals being deposited there, leading to illness and starvation.

And of course, if the trapped animal is a nursing female, her babies will be orphaned to starve to death.

Remember: relocation is not humane! Solve your nuisance wildlife problem effectively, humanely and permanently by calling our WildCare Solutions service at 415-453-1000 x23

Trapped skunk  
Some trappers will use heinous methods to dispatch trapped animals. SB 1480 outlaws the most inhumane practices.  
Trapped baby raccoons. Photo by Eric Mies  
These babies were orphaned when their mother was trapped and killed. This SB 1480 will require trappers to release lactating females and give them specific steps to follow to prevent orphans.  

SB 1480 Consumer and Wildlife Protection Act

Update September 26, 2012

Unfortunately and unexpectedly, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed this bill. Check back for our next steps to try to enforce humane treatment of urban wildlife.

Update September 2012

This bill passed the Assembly floor on Aug. 23 and passed the Senate floor a second time on Aug. 27, and now it is headed to the governor’s office.

Update June 2012

This bill passed the Senate floor and the Assembly Water Parks and Wildlife Committee. It will be heard next in Assembly Appropriations Committee, if passed, it will go to a full Assembly floor vote. Contact your state Assemblymember and urge him or her to vote yes on SB1480. Find your legislator here.

Update April 10, 2012

25 supporters took a bus to Sacramento on Tuesday, April 10 to show our support for SB 1480 at the California State Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee hearing. Despite some opposition, the bill passed with the needed five votes, and will be moving on to the Assembly next. Stay tuned for next steps in our efforts to advocate for this important legislation!

Red-clad supporters of SB 1480 at the Capitol

Senate Bill 1480 helps protect consumers when hiring a wildlife trapper and prohibits the most inhumane wildlife trapping practices.


Current law requires wildlife trappers who charge a fee to obtain a California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) trapping license. 

In approving this law, the Legislature intended to provide consumers and wildlife with protection from unscrupulous trappers.  However, DFG has yet to adopt regulations to fully implement this law.  Further, due to understaffing related to our current budget shortfalls, state wardens cannot provide adequate oversight.  While cities and counties document hundreds of trapping violations annually, DFG enforcement cited only six wildlife trappers in 2009.

Today, in the absence of regulations, California consumers have no way of confirming whether a perspective trapper is licensed.  Consumers are often charged for services that are unrelated to their property damage, including paying trappers to kill animals that are not responsible for property damage. “Nuisance” or “pest control” trappers are licensed to trap and destroy only animals that damage property.

Bad-acting trappers cause thousands of animals to suffer and die needlessly each year. Inhumane methods are used to kill wildlife, including drowning and chest crushing. Lethal traps that are prohibited for recreation or fur trapping cause non-targeted animals including pets to be killed. Young animals are frequently orphaned when their mothers are trapped and killed because reasonable precautions aren’t taken to prevent this. These practices are cruel and unnecessary. They can and should be prohibited.


SB 1480 would significantly reduce the number of animals that are needlessly killed and orphaned at consumer expense. Consumers will be better protected from unscrupulous and illegal business practices.

Specifically, SB 1480:

-   Required the DFG’s website to include a list of licensed wildlife trappers.
-   Required wildlife trappers to provide a written contract to a consumer that contains a summary of state trapping laws to help consumers protect themselves from illegal trapping practices.
-   Required trappers to take specified steps to prevent orphaning dependent young.
-   Prohibited trappers from using the most heinous methods of killing wildlife.
-   Restricted the use of kill-type traps to reduce harm and death to non-targeted animals including family animals.
-   Ensured trapping license fees collected by the DFG are appropriately used and sufficiently cover program costs.

Information from SB 1480 (Corbett) Fact Sheet


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