A new rule change from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has many wildlife rescues up in arms. These rescues will no longer be able to rehabilitate seven species of injured animals.
The state recently sent out a letter to rehabilitation centers across the state about the rule change. Bats, skunks, possums, raccoons and other animals will no longer be permitted to be taken in by wildlife rescue shelters. The state says the rehabilitation of most wildlife species is not necessary, unless the species is threatened, endangered, or of special concern. The state says no exceptions will be made, and any animal brought to a shelter will have to be euthanized.
But some shelter owners say they won't be abiding by the law. One man, John Russ, says, "A man's got to live with himself. I have to sleep with myself at nighttime. And I'm not going to go to bed at night knowing that I killed an innocent animal, and I don't know how anybody could do that."
The state says the phone has been ringing off the hook with complaints about the new rule change. The Division of Wildlife and Fisheries says they'll be sending out another letter to rehabbers further explaining the rule change.