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I sometimes find it puzzling that peoples interpretations of “Humane” vary so widely.  It’s not a terribly difficult concept.  All life has value, every living thing in some way or another benefits other living organisms and or their environment.   Human life, health, wellbeing and property should be protected with minimum impact on the wildlife that must be affected for that purpose

It’s simply not okay to inflict unnecessary harm, pain, stress on animals in one’s care.  And, unfortunately, many who operate in Wildlife Control, Animal Control, and Animal Damage Control Professionals, loose sight of that.

Trapping nuisance wildlife is often unavoidable, but by virtue of confining a wild or feral animal, stress to that animal is unavoidable.  As a professional we must always be available to retrieve a trapped animal in a timely manor.  Animals can injure themselves, or even die as a result of stress and efforts to escape.

Manual restraint and containment of animal needs to be done with the animals comfort in mind.  I am greatly distressed by photographs across the internet of people holding opossums by the tail.  There is sometimes necessity to quickly move a very fractious animal in such a manor, but quickly is the operative word, not allowing time to pose for photos or videos.  An adults opossums tail is prehensile, designed for balance and occasionally carrying bedding materials to nests.  Holding an opossum in such a manor for much more than 10 seconds is clearly inhumane.  It causes pain and can result in spinal injuries, despite the misinformation available on the internet.  When I was once asked by a gentlemen why an opossum maneuvered upward and bit him while he was holding it by the tail,  I had to advise he was causing the animal pain and denying him escape at the same time.

Pursuant to Florida Statute, in sum, no one shall carry or transport any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner, in a vehicle or otherwise (FL 828.121A). This certainly applies in this situation.  Important to note as well contained wildlife is stressed therefore unable to regulate body temperature properly.  So transporting such animals in the bed of a truck under extreme temperature conditions is not humane. Likewise trapping and transporting multiple animals atop one and other, or with no way to escape each other, can cause them to injure or kill each other, this is not humane.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions if your concerned.  you have the right to know your wildlife professional is humane.