Moving wildlife

Moving wildlife is illegal, ineffective, and often harmful to the animal. Read on to find out why.


Animals are most often moved by people who are experiencing problems with wildlife or by those who think the animal would be better off somewhere else. Never move wildlife; it can cause a lot of harm to the animal. Not only is moving wildlife illegal in Massachusetts, but it is often ineffective for those who are trying to find a solution to a wildlife problem.

Here are some reasons not to move wildlife:

  • The animal may be hit by a vehicle while traveling back home.
  • The animal will struggle finding food, water, and shelter in a new area, possible leading to death. Animals have great instincts and choose specific habitats because they can find resources they need to survive there.
  • The area may be home to members of the same species. They will not welcome the newcomer, causing conflict, stress, or even death.
  • If the animal is diseased, it may spread that disease to other animals.
  • You could disrupt certain ecological processes by moving wildlife to a new area.
  • The animal will just cause the same problems to someone else.
  • Moving the animal does not address the cause of the problem, which will likely reoccur. Other members of the species will move in.
  • Massachusetts law prohibits the capture and relocation of wildlife off your property. This law has been in effect for many years. This is meant to keep both wildlife and people safe.

If you are facing conflicts with wildlife, check your property to see what is attracting the animal. Get rid of food sources, such as garbage or bird feeders, and close off crawl spaces. You may want to contact a Problem Animal Control agent to take care of the wildlife. You can also review more information on our problem with wildlife page.

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