SPCA New Zealand
Animal Advocacy

Position Statements

Pest Control

SPCA values the lives of all animals and recognises that they are all equally deserving of protection from experiencing pain or distress.

SPCA advocates for the use of ethical principles in decision-making to determine if pest management is justified prior to conducting activities that may negatively impact the welfare of target and non-target animals.

SPCA acknowledges that many of the problems associated with wild animals considered pests in New Zealand are a result of human activities. Our organisation advocates that people should assess and modify their own behaviour as a first step in comprehensive pest management. Before lethal management methods are employed, steps should be made to remove attractants (e.g., food and shelter), and physical exclusion devices and deterrents should be considered.

SPCA advocates that management activities should only use methods of population control that minimise negative impacts to any animal, are target-specific, and with clear, achievable objectives that are monitored.

SPCA acknowledges that it is sometimes necessary to manage populations of species for a variety of reasons, including protecting biodiversity. Animal population control should only be conducted as part of an integrated animal management programme, and lethal methods should only be used where there is no effective non-lethal, humane alternative available. At all times, care must be taken to minimise adverse effects of these activities on the welfare of both target and non-target animals.

Whether an animal is native or introduced, any measures taken to manage their impact or numbers must consider their capacity to experience pain or distress. A humane method is one that minimises pain or distress to target and non-target animals, and the humaneness of a method is influenced by the skill and competency of the operator.

SPCA opposes the use of methods of population control or management of wild animals that lead prolonged death and suffering of target or non-target animals.

SPCA advocates for research and development of humane alternatives for animal population control, including the replacement of lethal methods with effective non-lethal methods that minimise negative impacts to animal welfare, such as limiting reproductive abilities.

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