Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) is responsible for the conservation - including restoration, protection and management - of fish and wildlife resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the public. The Division works to balance the needs of people and wildlife today so wildlife will be available for everyone's enjoyment today and for future generations. People in Massachusetts are encountering wild species more than ever before. Growing human populations sometimes modify or destroy important plant and animal habitat, threatening or endangering some species in the process. Other species are more able to live close to humans. While they may add interest to the local environment, they also can cause problems for their human neighbors. Massachusetts General Law gives property owners the right to use lawful means to destroy wildlife in the act of causing damage or threatening personal safety; however, landowners may only destroy wildlife actually causing damage or posing immediate threats. No one may randomly destroy wildlife simply because it is on their property. Also, it is also illegal to live-trap a problem animal and move it for release on other public or private property. Property owners are encouraged to consult MassWildlife's Living with Wildlife fact sheet series or contact MassWildlife District Office personnel for technical advice. If a property owner cannot resolve a wildlife problem on his or her own, the owner may contract with a licensed Problem Animal Control Agent. Sick or injured wildlife may be transported to a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator for treatment. For more information consult the agency’s website.