The next chapter in the feud between Mary Cheh and Ken Cuccinelli over rats and animal control legislation in the District could unfold tomorrow, as Cheh appears on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show and will talk about the very public feud that began last week, among other topics.
The controversy began when Cuccinelli took aim at the District's animal control law in a WMAL radio interview, saying it required exterminators to relocate rat families into Virginia rather than killing them.
The District's Wildlife Protection Act of 2010 prohibits the use of certain types of body-crushing traps for animals, and requires pest control companies to release animals to the wild or to animal rehabilitation centers before opting to euthanize them.
In commenting on a discussion about the recent rat infestation at the Occupy DC encampment at McPherson Square, Cuccinelli called the law "a triumph of animal rights over human health."
Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh picked up the mantle the next day, calling Cheh a "babe" and saying that things like the D.C. animal control bill are what happens when people are "indoctrinated with this animal rights crap" from a young age.
Cheh shot back at both Cuccinelli and Limbaugh with a statement, explaining that the law does not apply to mice and rats. "The very first page expressly exempts mice and rats found in the District," Cheh said. "I would have hoped that people would have been inclined to read the bill before raging against it."
The purpose of the law, continued Cheh, is to ensure that wildlife "be treated as humanely as the circumstances allow." Cheh also released a sampling of emails she received after the Limbaugh show, in which the writers refer to her as everything from a "crazy lunatic" and a "colossal, vacant moron" to "a disgrace to your gender and your position."
The wildlife legislation has come under fire from some pest control companies, who argue that it's not feasible to release animals within the District, which has limited green space. In fact, the National Pest Management Association lobbied Congress to overturn the law last fall.