The MSPCA-Angell believes that all animals exist in a dynamic state of interdependence with their environment, and that no animal is inherently a “nuisance” or “pest.” However, because humans increasingly impinge upon or alter the habitats of wildlife, conflicts may arise simply due to their presence or natural behavior.
The MSPCA-Angell believes that before any measures are taken to control, relocate, or kill wild animals, a careful analysis of the animals’ behavior, environment, and the specific problem or threat posed must be conducted. If control measures are implemented, effects of these actions on the environment and other animals should also be evaluated to ensure that they are appropriate, humane, and effective long-term.
Humane wildlife control measures should be implemented only when alternatives have failed and:
- the animal’s presence unavoidably endangers human life either by acting as a specific vector for disease or by directly causing serious injury or death.
- the presence and behavior of the animal causes an unnatural and significantly harmful impact on the environment.
- the presence of the animal, because of behavior and/or number, causes serious and unavoidable human health or safety problems.
The MSPCA-Angell believes that wildlife control programs should employ the most humane and least intrusive means for addressing wildlife conflicts. Programs employing preventative steps are most desirable. In most instances, the most effective approach to wildlife control is environmental manipulation by such means as removal of food sources or prohibiting access to these sources rather than moving or killing animals.
Therefore, to encourage understanding and appreciation of wildlife and to promote humane and effective responses to conflicts with wildlife, the MSPCA-Angell will:
- generate public awareness of wildlife behavior as well as preventative and humane measures that may be undertaken to avoid and address wildlife conflicts.
- act as an educational and advisory resource to individuals and communities with wildlife questions or problems.
- encourage federal and state wildlife agencies to develop comprehensive wildlife programs that specifically address prevention of, and humane solutions to, wildlife conflicts.