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Philadelphia Lawmakers Move Ahead With Legislation Making Raccoons a Health Dept. Problem

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(File photo)

(File photo)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The latest wrestling match between Philadelphia City Council and the mayor involves raccoons, those pesky creatures that some of the lawmakers say are constantly going through residents’ trash and attics (see related story).

City Council members say they’re increasingly getting complaints about urban raccoons that they say are terrorizing homeowners in some parts of Philadelphia.

“People are very frustrated, because they don’t know what to do about that,” says 9th District councilwoman Marian Tasco.

Currently, homeowners are responsible to hire someone to trap the critters. But the Nutter administration has been resisting a bill that would put more responsibility on the health department to deal with wayward raccoons.

At a hearing, Councilman Jim Kenney questioned Brian Abernathy of the managing director’s office.

(Kenney:)  “Is the issue that you don’t have the resources to do that, or you just don’t want them euthanized?”

(Abernathy:)  “Both.”

And Abnernathy says this is the domain of state wildlife officials, not the city.

Despite the admininstration’s concerns, the bill was approved this afternoon in committee and now goes to the full Council for a vote.

Reported by KYW City Hall bureau chief Mike Dunn

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