The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on January 20th will consider revising its rules for holding wildlife in captivity. The proposed new rules are a step in the right direction, but will still allow too many animals to be taken from the wild and held in cages and containers. Comments may be submitted to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife rules coordinator, Roxie Borisch, at firstname.lastname@example.org, with a copy to email@example.com, before noon on Thursday, January 19th. The Commission meets to consider adopting the rules, and to take public comment, beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, January 20th, at 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, in Salem.
Dear Fish and Wildlife Commissioners:
I understand you are considering new rules for the capture and holding of wildlife in Oregon. I support the proposed additional restrictions on this practice, including more requirements for permits, specific requirements for animal care, and restrictions on breeding. I encourage you to go further by making it illegal to take any healthy wildlife from the wild, or to breed wildlife, for exhibition, entertainment or pets. Wildlife should stay in the wild, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife should be sending that message to the public.
Thank you for considering my comments.
On the plus side, the rules would:
Require a permit for holding three or more of any species (instead of some species being entirely exempt from permit requirements).
Require a separate permit and additional oversight for facilities that use wildlife for exhibition and entertainment or that operate as a "sanctuary."
Provide additional oversight for holding of black bears, cougars, bobcats and wolves and generally prohibit captive breeding of these animals (as well as others) in Oregon.
Create specific requirements for animal enclosures and care.
On the minus side, the rules would:
Continue to allow numerous animals (deemed sufficiently “abundant”) to be taken from the wild and held in captivity, including several species of amphibians and reptiles, and mammals such as ermine and ground squirrels.
Allow up to two of the “abundant” species to be taken from the wild and held in captivity without a permit.
Allow permit holders to add black bears, cougars and bobcats to their captive holdings (as well as the wildlife deemed “abundant”) as long as they come from out-of-state breeders, thereby encouraging more breeding of wild animals for life in captivity (even if the breeding happens in other states).
For more information, and to see the full set of rules, go here and scroll down to "Exhibit B."