A model for assessing the relative humaneness of pest animal control methods

Pest animals such as rabbits, feral pigs, foxes, wild dogs and feral cats continue to cause significant environmental damage and agricultural losses in Australia despite improvements in control methods and the development of new techniques. Each year hundreds of thousands of pest animals are trapped, poisoned, shot or otherwise destroyed because of the harm they cause (Olsen 1998).

Historically, pest animal control has focussed on killing as many pests as cheaply as possible. For most people in today’s society the management of pest animals is acceptable provided that such management is humane (Mellor and Littin 2004) and justified. However, many of the methods used to control pest animals in Australia are far from being humane. There is a pressing need to improve the humaneness of control programs and to develop a process that enables the most humane methods to be identified.

This second edition (2011) has been updated and revised to include minor modifications and improvements to the model for assessing the relative humaneness of pest animal control methods. Some of the examples in the impact scales have  been modified and notes have been added to the worksheet to clarify some aspects of the assessment process. This edition also contains a summary of the project which applied the model to commonly used control methods.

Completed assessments for a range of species and techniques are included as well as ‘humaneness matrices’ which provide a simplified overview of the relative humaneness of all the methods for each species.

Section 1 contains a review of humaneness assessment and a summary of the project to develop the model whilst  Section 2 describes the process undertaken to assess the humaneness of commonly used invasive animal techniques.

See www.pestsmart.org.au/animal-welfare/humaneness-assessment/ to view humaneness assessments by species

AuthorTrudy Sharp and Glen Saunders
PublisherAustralian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
DepartmentAustralian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Pages126 pp
RegionAustralia - national