Can I trap and relocate a problem otter? in Massachusetts | River Otter

Can I trap and relocate a problem otter?

The live trapping and relocation of river otters is generally not recommended and illegal in many states.  Relocating any animal causes undue stress.  It is difficult to find suitable habitat that is not already inhabited by other otters.   Moving a river otter outside of its home range into that of another can create conflicts with other otters and competition for food.  There is also the potential for causing problems for other landowners or spreading diseases such as canine distemper and canine parvovirus.

If relocation of river otters is allowed in your state, contact your local state Fish and Wildlife Department office to see if permits are needed.  It is recommended to have a professional wildlife control operator do the trapping and relocation.  Conduct the relocation early enough in the summer to allow the otter to establish itself in its new territory before winter sets in.

Laws and regulations to be aware of

While we attempt to provide guidance about state and federal regulations pertaining to specific species and control techniques, we do not provide information about local jurisdictions (city, town, county, etc.) where regulations may be more restrictive, especially as it applies to discharge of firearms, transport of animals or use of trapping equipment. Contact your local city or county government to inquire further. No guarantee is made that information (or lack of information) associated with a species or control technique is completely accurate or current. You should become familiar with federal, state and local laws before beginning any wildlife control activities.

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