Proposed DNR changes would require animal control workers to kill raccoons, opossums and coyotes

INDIANAPOLIS -- Proposed changes by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources would require animal control professionals to euthanize certain animals that they catch instead of allowing them to “catch and release” them.

Michael Meservy has worked in animal control for 14 years. He operates mainly out of Marion, Hamilton and Boone counties and specializes in “catch and release.”

The new regulations would require animal control workers like Meservy to euthanize all raccoons, opossums and coyotes that they catch instead of releasing them into the wild.

“I’m going to have to take a mama raccoon and babies off of her fur and put them in a box and gas them,” said Meservy. “That is what I’m going to have to do.”

DNR cites an increasing population, the ability to carry disease and nuisance to poultry owners among the reasons for their new regulation.

Right now, permit holders are allowed to release animals within the county they were captured in – if they have permission.

The Natural Resources Commission is accepting public comments on this and other rule proposals through March 23. They will also be holding two public meetings.

The commission will vote on the proposed changes in May.

If approved, those changes will go into effect this fall.

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