Friday, May 21, 2010

Trapping and releasing problem animals--Does it work?

I've had comments posted to this blog about trapping and releasing problem animals as a humane solution.  I'm reprinting below the best explanation I've seen about why "trap and release" isn't a good idea.

"...It is also a misconception that you can move a wild animal to a new area, release it and it will instantly settle down and live happily ever after. Nature just isn't like that and releasing animals in a new area is a very tricky operation. It is unlikely that there will be a vacant territory and the animal will therefore wander widely in a strange area looking for somewhere to live. Since it does not know the area, it will not know the danger spots or best feeding sites. Invariably it will die fairly soon and it would have been far more humane to have killed the fox rather than dump it in a strange area.
Since dumping animals like this is clearly inhumane, such action could well be an offence under the Abandonment of Animals Act 1960.

Finally, many people do not want foxes released on their land. In this, their concerns are entirely justified; since displaced foxes do not know where to hunt, they are particularly likely to cause greater problems to farmers by killing fowl."  Source
Summary--why "trap and release" isn't a good idea
  • Not humane--animal will probably die anyway.
  • You are giving your problem to someone else. 
  • Only a few kinds of animals can be easily trapped--and you might be bitten.
  • Moving animals can upset natural populations, can spread disease, and may be illegal.
"Trap and release" is neither "humane," nor is it a "solution."

This bad idea is promoted by the makers of traps, for obvious reasons.

The only real solution is to avoid attracting animals--eliminate all food and shelter.  Make sure you aren't providing pet food in your back yard, or storing it uncovered in your garage.

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