Indiana agency proposes new animal euthanizing rule

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is proposing a rule that could lead to the deaths of thousands of raccoons, opossums and coyotes across the state.

The Indianapolis Star reports that the new rule would require animal control workers to euthanize any of the three animals if caught, instead of having the option to release them. Professionals currently make the call on releases, depending on various regulations.

The agency and some animal control businesses say the change could help prevent nuisance problems and the spread of disease, such as distemper and rabies.

But other industry workers, animal rehabilitators and wildlife groups say the rule is inhumane and would damage populations.

The agency proposed changes before the Natural Resources Commission, which is accepting public input until March 23. The commission will vote in May.