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Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : June 27, 2007


Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3381
Curtis Taylor , Wildlife Resources Section Chief (304) 558-2771

No Importation or Pet Permits Issued For Raccoon, Fox or Skunk in West Virginia 

Based upon serious public health and wildlife disease concerns associated with the raccoon rabies virus, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) wants to remind the public that no Importation or Pet Permits are issued for raccoon, fox or skunk.

The Division of Natural Resources has not issued Wildlife Importation Permits for these species since 2001 and Pet Permits have not been issued since 2006. “The decision to deny Importation and Pet Permits for raccoon, fox and skunk has been made following careful deliberation and with concurrence from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture and West Virginia Bureau for Public Health. It is important for our citizens to know that just because they may be able to purchase these animals in other states; it is illegal to bring them into West Virginia. Those who transport or possess these animals face fines and the animals being confiscated,” said DNR Director Frank Jezioro.

The mid-Atlantic raccoon rabies epizootic, which began in the late 1970s, expanded rapidly and spread throughout the northeastern states by the mid-1990s. In an effort to stop the westward spread of raccoon rabies across North America, West Virginia has been participating in a regional oral rabies vaccine (Raboral V-RG) barrier program for the past seven years. “The United States Department of Agriculture has spent millions of dollars in West Virginia to implement this raccoon rabies barrier program, and we simply cannot risk the potential success of this program by allowing the importation and/or possession of live raccoons, foxes or skunks as pets at this time,” noted Jezioro.


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