Wildlife Protection Act of 2010

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The Wildlife Protection Act of 2010 is a statute enacted by the government of the District of Columbia (which is coterminous with the United States capital city of Washington).[1] The Act was adopted by the Council of the District of Columbia on 2010 October 5.[2]

Controversy began developing as critics of the law alleged that it protected rats without regard to their effects on the human population,[3] a strident opponent from the outset being the Wildlife Society.[4] The controversy broadened in early 2012 amid concerns about the prevalence of rats in the vicinity of the Occupy DC camp in the District of Columbia.[5] Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) assailed the Act as encouraging exterminators to dump the District of Columbia’s rats into bordering Virginia.[6] Similar concerns were voiced by Maryland legislator Pat McDonough (R-Baltimore).[7]

One commentator referred to the Act as providing "Right to Life for Rodents"![8] The controversy went national when it was aired by Rush Limbaugh[9] and soon picked up as well by Huffington Post.[10]

District of Columbia Council Member Mary Cheh (D), author of the Act, spoke on Fox News, claiming that critics' statements misrepresented it.[11]


  1. ^ Lyons, Gillian (2010-11-12). "D.C. passes Wildlife Protection Act". Animal Blawg. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  2. ^ The text of the Act is available at "Wildlife Protection Act of 2010" (PDF). Codification District of Columbia Official Code (2001 edition with 2011 winter supplement, enrolled original). 2010-11-08. Retrieved 2012-01-24.  For background see also Czop, Lisa Marie (2010-11-08), "Fact vs. fiction: DC Wildlife Protection Act," Examiner (accessed 2012-01-24).
  3. ^ "WTH? Wildlife Protection Act of 2010 is an example". Southern Maryland Community Forum. 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  4. ^ Ryder, Thomas J. (2010-11-03). "The Wildlife Protection Act [letter to the District of Columbia Council]" (PDF). Wildlife Society. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  5. ^ Gowen, Annie (2012-01-09). "City: Rat population has 'exploded'around Occupy D.C. camps". Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  6. ^ Goins, Christopher (2012-01-13). "VA AG fears DC law may relocate rat 'families' to Virginia". CNS News. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  7. ^ Binder, Alan (2012-01-20). "Maryland delegate moves to ban rat trafficking, 'protect our borders'". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 2012-01-24.  See also Colleluori, Salvatore (2012-01-12). "Maryland delegate uses anti-immigrant language to describe anti-rat trafficking bill". Media Matters Action Network. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  8. ^ Chapman, Michael W. (2012-01-18). "DC wildlife law protects rats: Right to life for rodents". DC Insider. Retrieved 2012-01-24.  See also Chapman, Michael W. (2012-01-17). "New DC law protects rats!". Investment Watch. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  9. ^ Limbaugh, Rush (2012-01-16). "Washington, DC, law forces exterminators to capture and relocate rats". Rush Limbaugh Show. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  10. ^ Greenwood, Arin (2012-01-24). "Maryland lawmaker wants policy to block rats from D.C.". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  11. ^ "DC Councilmember Mary Cheh discusses Wildlife Protection Act". Fox 5 News. 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2012-01-24.