SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Wild Animals Killed for Food

Animals in the Wild

SPCA advocates that wild animals captured or killed for food must be done in ways that minimise negative impacts on animal welfare.

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

(see Multi-catch fishing)

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 deer or other species are shot and injured but not killed they must be immediately tracked down and killed.

SPCA opposes the practice of killing hunted 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.

SPCA is concerned with the use of air weapons or bows to kill animals because of the increased likelihood of pain and distress caused by these weapons when the resulting death is not immediate. Killing animals with a bow and arrow has a higher likelihood of injuring, rather than killing the animal, or resulting in a prolonged time to death compared to other methods of shooting such as the use of high-powered rifles.

SPCA opposes the use of lead ammunition in circumstances where the spent pellets might be ingested by, and consequently poison, other animals and contaminate the environment.

(see Hunting with dogs)

Selectively targeting and killing certain types of animals of a species, such as large males, can lead to behavioural changes in other individuals that negatively impact reproductive success, resulting in negative impacts on populations of wild animals.

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