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Position Statement on Wild Animal Welfare

Human activities, directly and indirectly, have an impact on all other species of animals and plants on earth through our common ecosystem of air, earth and water. The BC SPCA recognizes and values our interconnectedness with all animals, and strives to enhance their quality of life. Wild animals are unique in that they may be free-living or under our guardianship in captivity. In both circumstances, we have a responsibility to acknowledge and reduce intentional and unintentional human impacts that may compromise the welfare of wild animals. Although the conservation and preservation of species biodiversity is imperative for the survival of wild animals, the value and welfare needs of an individual wild animal must be understood and balanced with those of the species.

Free-living wildlife are those non-domestic animals that are generally born, reproduce and die in the wild. Occasionally, captive-bred wild animals are released into nature to augment species populations. Humans intentionally and unintentionally impact free-living wildlife across the globe, and must strive to reduce any negative impacts on individual wild animals and protect species through conservation.

Captive wild animals may be wild-born or captive-bred and are physically confined from living in the wild. Guardians of captive wildlife must strive to meet the Five Freedoms by employing management practices and species-specific enclosures that meet the physiological, emotional, and behavioural needs of the animals.

Approved by the Board of Directors – August 2009