Is it Illegal to Trap an Opossum?

It’s not an uncommon question to ask whether or not it is illegal to trap and remove an opossum from your property and deliver it back into the wild.  Although there may be some rules and regulations to look into with your local wildlife control services about relocation, it is not illegal to trap an opossum.

Legal or Not?

While it is illegal in some jurisdictions to trap particular species of wildlife, opossums aren’t one of them. In fact, not only is it legal in most jurisdictions to trap an opossum, it is often legal to kill an opossum if necessary. With this fact in mind, it is still important to research your rights before acting on it. In addition, although the pests are pests for a reason, it’s always in your best interest to enact humane, lawful practices when dealing with the trapping and killing of wildlife.

3 Things to Know

  • Although it may not be illegal in many jurisdictions to trap (and potentially kill) an opossum, it can’t be overstated that you should confirm with your local authorities before acting.
  • If it does turn out to be a legal act in your jurisdiction, there are still illegal mechanisms by which you could act. In other words, acting inhumanely towards the animal and harming it in any way may result in legal action.
  • When setting up an opossum trap and luring it in with a trail of bait, it is important that you have the trap set up properly. It must be recognized that although your intentions may be to catch an opossum, there is a chance that the trail of bait and size of trap could by accident lure an unintended animal into your trap, wild or domestic. That would not be okay.

Taking proper precautions is of utmost importance. It’s your responsibility to not simply take the fact that it may be legal to trap an opossum at face value. Do your due diligence by researching local laws, and get formal confirmation from local authorities prior to taking part in the trapping or killing of an opossum.

If all necessary precautions have been taken, you should be well on your way to a successful trap.