BC is known internationally for its diverse fauna, flora and landscapes; however, human activity can endanger wild animals and their habitat. Often to resolve human-wildlife conflicts, wildlife control is undertaken. This generally involves considerable animal suffering and can cause harmful environmental and non-target impacts.
Although much research on control methods exists, this has yet to be translated into evidence-based codes of practice or standard operating procedures in Canada. As a result, there is no accepted set of methods that are regarded as “humane” for both lethal and non-lethal practices. The need for this type of credible standard has been expressed by the BC SPCA, the pest control industry, property owners and management companies, as well as by other Canadian and international animal welfare organizations. The beneficiaries of this project thus include the public, humane and conservation organizations, and the millions of wild animals subject to control practices every year in Canada.
The UBC AWP is a leader in promoting welfare within conservation activities, recently hosting the 2015 Compassionate Conservation conference. In 2015, the UBC AWP also began development of evidence-based standards for humane wildlife control and is now seeking funding to test an innovative social enterprise opportunity. The project will continue a strong partnership with the BC SPCA, translating academic knowledge to operational standards and an accreditation program.