SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Wild Animals Killed for Food

Animals in the Wild

SPCA advocates that the killing or capturing of wild animals for food must only be done in ways that minimise negative impacts on animal welfare.

When wild animals are killed for food, this must be done efficiently and humanely by an experienced and skilled hunter or trapper. Lethally controlling animals by shooting is often considered a relatively more humane practice than other methods of control. A humane shooting is one that should result in the least amount of time between when the animal is shot and until it is insensible and dead. Where animals are shot and injured but not killed, they must be immediately tracked down and killed.

Hunting should be avoided in seasons when animals are likely to have young at foot. If a lactating animal is killed, efforts should be made to find and humanely kill their offspring.

Wild-caught fish must be humanely killed as soon as possible after catching.

(See Sport and Recreational Hunting for more information)

(see Commercial Fishing for more information)

(See Recreational Fishing for more information)

SPCA opposes the practice of killing pigs by ‘sticking’ because of the risk of injury to the pig or the likelihood that death does not rapidly follow. Sticking also presents a risk of injury or death to dogs used in pig hunting.

(See Hunting with dogs for more information)

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