Two experts on Florida wildlife discuss proposed changes to the state’s trapping regulations

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Katherine McGill & Kate MacFall (photos courtesy of McGill & MacFall

Katherine McGill (who runs 411 Wildlife Solutions, a humane wildlife control company) and Kate MacFall (Florida State Director for The Humane Society of the United States)–both of whom bring considerable expertise to this “Talking Animals” discussion of proposed changes to Florida’s trapping regulations—start by addressing a fundamental question: Why do people trap?

We then speak about which agency oversees and enforces trapping regulations—the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)—and whether there’s a proscribed cycle or timetable by which FWC periodically reassesses trapping regulations. (The last set of revised regulations were rolled out in 2007-2008.)

More to the point, I wonder, what prompted the FWC to conduct a survey about trapping regulations in December, from which results were collected, reviewed, a report has been generated, and proposed language—reflecting alterations to the state’s trapping regulations—is now on the horizon.

On a related note, my guests convey the state’s criteria for what qualifies as “nuisance wildlife,” noting that the definitions involved are thin and vague, and particularly open to subjective interpretation, which can be problematic when these very elements can help determine when the use of traps is allowed.

MacFall and McGill touch on some of pending changes in the regulations, including tightening how often and what time traps must be checked, and eliminating the requirement for procuring special permits for certain types of trapping.

MacFall explains that the FWC will accept comments about the proposed regulation changes at an email address that’s not yet live (but will be) on the organization’s website: https://myfwc.com. Meanwhile, interested animal advocates can check that website for updates, attend one or more of the five meetings FWC holds each year (each offering an opportunity for open comments), and MacFall says she welcomes emails on this topic at [email protected]

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