Euthanasia is no longer in question for nuisance animals on the University of Idaho campus.
Faculty Senate heard a report from Vice President of Infrastructure Dan Ewart on UI’s new animal control policy during Tuesday’s meeting.
The newly released Nuisance Animal Program said that UI staff will no longer euthanize nuisance animals, but will continue to trap them if deemed necessary.
“Euthanasia is always considered a last resort now. It’s in all of our documentation, it’s where it’s supposed to be,” Ewart said. “We can’t say it would never happen, but we can say that we at the University of Idaho will not be euthanizing these nuisance animals if that occurs.”
Ewart said the process focuses primarily on nuisance animals and is separate from research animals.
Research animals are governed by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and the policies in place for them are different, he said.
“Our process is that if an animal is not bothering anything, we are going to leave it alone,” Ewart said. “This is the right process, because I think animals add a lot to our campus.”
Ewart said UI Facilities Services will make the determination whether or not an animal poses a risk to the university.
However, if animals become a risk to human health, safety or property, the university’s first priority is to hire a licensed contractor to trap the animal, Ewart said.
In the case where UI is not able to hire a contractor, Ewart said the university has the capability to trap animals, which they will utilize if needed.
Once the animal is captured by the university, no further action will take place. The Moscow Police Department’s (MPD) animal control will handle all situations following the capture.
“They have solid, humane and standard procedures with how to deal with these animals and they’re professionals in that,” Ewart said. “We like to leave it to the professionals in order to do that.”
Although situations will not be handled by the university after an animal is trapped, euthanasia is still seen as a last resort for contractors and animal control.
Ewart said he will receive an annual report on the activity in the area, which he will review and make process changes based on the information. In addition to that, he will meet annually with the MPD and the Humane Society of the Palouse (HSOP) to review the program.
The university worked in collaboration with the MPD animal control and the HSOP to develop the new policy, Ewart said.
“I think we are on the right track to a solid, efficient and humane process for dealing with animals when we need to do that,” Ewart said.
Savannah Cardon can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @savannahlcardon