New laws address NYC raccoon problem

July 27, 2011 at 1:30 PM

NEW YORK, July 27 (UPI) -- Legislators frustrated with New York City's response to increasing complaints about raccoons say they hope new laws will improve the situation.

State Sen. Tony Avella has proposed a bill that would force the city to pick up raccoons at the request of the public, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.

The proposed measure mirrors a city bill introduced last year by City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, the newspaper said.

Currently the city only picks up raccoons it considers dangerous, sick or hurt.

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi successfully pushed through a bill recently addressing the way raccoons are classified, making it easier to transport them under state law.

"These are not cuddly little animals," Avella said. "They can be very aggressive and are not afraid of humans. If you have children and small pets, you have to be concerned."

Avella said his office gets dozens of complaints about raccoons every year from residents who say the animals are invading their homes.

The bills submitted by Avella and Crowley would provide for humane relocation whenever possible, as many trapped raccoons are currently euthanized instead of released because of rabies fears and logistic concerns.

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