The BC SPCA opposes inhumane nuisance wildlife¹ management methods and encourages the use of non-lethal preventative alternatives such as exclusion techniques and non-harmful physical or chemical deterrents to address perceived pests through Integrated Pest Management². Only when human health or herd/flock health are at serious risk, and where non-lethal methods have been exhausted, should methods of lethal control that minimize suffering and cause a quick death be considered.
Methods of nuisance wildlife management that prolong suffering or excessive discomfort (dehydration, starvation, hypothermia) are unacceptable, as are those that endanger non-pest animals. Accordingly, glue boards, electrocution, drowning, live freezing and ineffective traps for controlling pest populations are not condoned.
Only in the case of lethal control of mice and rats to protect human health, should stationary and fast-acting poison blocks and rodenticides be considered. Although these methods are not humane, they should aim to reduce the potential harm to non-pest animals. Until a humane alternative is available, the BC SPCA will encourage further developments towards improving the humaneness of rodent control methods.
Approved by the Board of Directors – August 2009
Nuisance wildlife (Pest)¹: Any wild animal who is perceived to be in conflict with humans, their animals or property. Neither term is preferred by the BC SPCA, as both have negative connotations.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)²: According to the BC Ministry of Environment:
“Integrated pest management means a process for managing pest populations that includes the following elements:
- planning and managing ecosystems to prevent organisms from becoming pests;
- identifying potential pest problems;
- monitoring populations of pests and beneficial organisms, pest damage and environmental conditions;
- using injury thresholds in making treatment decisions;
- reducing pest populations to acceptable levels using strategies that may include a combination of biological, physical, cultural, mechanical, behavioural and chemical controls;
- evaluating the effectiveness of treatments.”
¹ The BC SPCA does not believe the terms “pest” or “nuisance wildlife” are appropriate or meaningful terms for any wildlife, as they impart a negative connotation on these animals. However, given their common usage by the public, these terms are used in this position statement to facilitate public understanding of the statement.
² Integrated pest management techniques should be utilized to effectively control any target nuisance animals while minimizing the impact on the environment and other animal species.