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Trapping wildlife can spread disease

There are few ways for humans to stop animal diseases from spreading. In many cases it’s difficult to tell and keep track of infected wildlife. But, one thing we can do to limit the spread of disease is stop trapping and relocating nuisance wildlife. Trapping and relocating wildlife is an outmoded method for dealing with human-wildlife conflicts. This traditional approach does a poor job of solving problems and could have unintended consequences.

What is trapping?

It’s a method used to remove unwanted pests from certain areas. The idea is to set a humane trap that does not harm the animal, but lures them into a cage making it easier to move them away to another location. It’s typical to use specific bait to bring the wildlife into the trap. But, this is sort of an old practice and it is generally frowned upon by most wildlife control provides, humane societies and governments.


A raccoon mother with one of her babies.

There are plenty of laws associated with trapping in Ontario. You must not harass, capture or kill more wildlife than is necessary to protect your property and release captured wildlife within 24 hours. In Ontario, it’s also illegal to move wildlife more than a kilometre away and they must be released on private property with the land owner’s permission. For these reasons and many others, professional wildlife removal services opt to remove wildlife from den sites humanely and do repairs to prevent re-entry instead of trapping.

How trapping spreads disease

Many wild animals carry viruses and diseases. The most dangerous one when it comes to transmission to humans is rabies. Trapping raccoons and skunks and moving them to different areas can expose a whole new population to the disease allowing it to spread beyond human control.

Mostly transmitted through saliva, droppings and blood, diseases can quickly spread amongst wildlife and their predators. While the natural food chain continues it leads to altercations between different species, including pets that venture outdoors. This contact increases the possibility of transmitting disease.


Mother raccoon and babies inside an attic.

Rabies outbreak in Hamilton

Recently, Hamilton has seen one of its worst rabies outbreaks. Over a period of months the virus has spread beyond the first positive test in the east end of the city to other areas including Brant, Niagara and Haldimand. The outbreak was discovered when a hitchhiking raccoon from New York had an altercation with a pair of dog in the back of an animal control van. It has been spreading to surrounding municipalities since then. Trapping rabid animals and relocating them could see the virus easily grow in Southern Ontario putting more pets and humans at risk.

Niagara Region raccoon trapping

If you discover any regular wildlife visitors inside or around your home make sure to contact a professional wildlife removal service. Trapping and relocating wildlife isn’t the answer and it could put you at risk for being scratched or bitten.

You wouldn’t want someone to release a rapid animal in your backyard, so it makes not to do the same to others. Instead call Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control at 1-888-592-087.

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About the author:Founder of Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control in 1989. Canada's largest urban wildlife removal and exclusion company. Industry leader and pioneer. Split, Scram, Scoot! However you want to say it, Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control has helped over 200,000 home owners and businesses safely and effectively resolve their wildlife issues. Happy to discuss business and franchising opportunities

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