Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

September 1968


I guess the impetus for laws in our state, really was the action of the city of Boston in 1963, when the Parks and Recreation Department felt that it was time to do something about massive populations of pigeons on the Boston Commons and in the city. The Parks Department came to our agency to find out what could be done. We immediately found as a result of a reorganization and recodification of the laws some 20 years before, that it was illegal to use or apply poisons for the purpose of killing any birds or mammals in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Property owners were given the privilege to destroy animals that were doing damage to their property, but only through mechanical means, certainly not by the use of toxicants. We helped the city of Boston draft a bill in 1963, which allowed our agency, the Division of Fisheries and Game, the agency responsible for all wildlife species in the state, the opportunity to issue certain permits for the use of poison, giving full authority to the director of Fisheries and Game with, of course, approval of my board. This allowed certain discretion on our part.