Will I Commit a Criminal Offence If I Trap a Bat?
There are states in the US that protects the bat species and their roosting area. This simply means that you are creating a criminal offence in case you are intentionally capturing, injuring or killing a bat. You can also be liable if you are recklessly or deliberately disturbing a bat in their roost, destroying or damaging their roosting area, possessing and exchanging, selling and advertising a bat whether they are dead or alive or other parts of the bat.
Is It Illegal to Trap a Bat?
Nowadays, people are becoming ignorant about these wild animals, ecological system, and the related requirements. There are people who are keeping these wild animals as their pets without even realizing that they may find themselves on a legal battle. Although it is not ethically or morally wrong to keep bats as a part of the rehabilitation and research project, you still need to familiarize yourself with the laws related to the bats.
In order to gain a permit in conducting activities associated with bats and their ecological site, you need a license that highlight the specific purpose that is provided by the licensing authority. Some states will provide a protected species license or derogation license. It comes with terms and condition that you need to follow. If you decided to carry out your activity without the proper license and end up damaging the bats or their roosting area, you will be liable for a criminal offense.
Currently, the bats are being protected by Conservation Regulation of 1994, Wildlife Act of 1981 and Right of Way Act of 2000. However, there are particular situations when someone may find himself unintentionally involved in a bat such as looking after an injured bat or rehabilitating a lost bat. During this situation, it is a lot better to nurse for the injured bat first before notifying the proper authorities. In case you are planning to keep the bat as your pet. You need to file a petition for legal ownership. In the event that this type of license is not being offered in your state, obstructing an access point or damaging their roosting area is considered illegal.
Nevertheless, it may not be illegal if the bat is roosting in your property and you are not aware of it. During this situation, you will need to inform the Animal Control in your state in order to extract them humanely and safely from your property and relocate them to a more suitable location. If you are aware that someone in your community possesses a bat, you will need to report him immediately to the authority, or you will be considered as party to his criminal offense. Take a picture of the bat and the equipment that they used and talk with the authority.
Perhaps you are wondering why the law is too strict in protecting these wild animals. The bat is important in keeping the balance in our ecosystem. Additionally, the person illegally possessing the bat can also be exposed to certain risks.
Read the How to get rid of bats page for helpful information and to learn more about Will I Commit a Criminal Offence If I Trap a Bat?
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