Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Animal welfare considerations for using large carnivores and guardian dogs as vertebrate biocontrol tools against other animals.
Authors: Minnie, Liaan.
Parker, Daniel M.
School of Biology and Environmental Sciences
School of Biology and Environmental Sciences
Keywords: Animal ethics.;Animal welfare.;Biocontrol.;Decision matrix.;Dingo.;Gaurdian dogs.;Fear effects.;Humaneness.;Landscape of fear.;Leopard.;Predator-prey relationships.
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: Introducing consumptive and non-consumptive effects into food webs can have profound effects on individuals, populations and communities. This knowledge has led to the deliberate use of predation and/or fear of predation as an emerging technique for controlling wildlife. Many now advocate for the intentional use of large carnivores and livestock guardian dogs as more desirable alternatives to traditional wildlife control approaches like fencing, shooting, trapping, or poisoning. However, there has been very little consideration of the animal welfare implications of deliberately using predation as a wildlife management tool. We assess the animal welfare impacts of using dingoes, leopards and guardian dogs as biocontrol tools against wildlife in Australia and South Africa following the ‘Five Domains’ model commonly used to assess other wildlife management tools. Application of this model indicates that large carnivores and guardian dogs cause considerable lethal and non-lethal animal welfare impacts to the individual animals they are intended to control. These impacts are likely similar across different predator-prey systems, but are dependent on specific predator-prey combinations; combinations that result in short chases and quick kills will be rated as less harmful than those that result in long chases and protracted kills. Moreover, these impacts are typically rated greater than those caused by traditional wildlife control techniques. The intentional lethal and non-lethal harms caused by large carnivores and guardian dogs should not be ignored or dismissively assumed to be negligible. A greater understanding of the impacts they impose would benefit from empirical studies of the animal welfare outcomes arising from their use in different contexts.
Description: BA and MJS thank the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology in Stellenbosch and Pretoria, South Africa, for providing funding that enabled the development of this study.
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Animal-welfare-considerations-for-using-large-carnivores-and-guardian-dogs.pdfAccepted version669.82 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Show full item record

Page view(s)

checked on Jun 8, 2021


checked on Jun 8, 2021

Google ScholarTM



This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons