Bringing objectivity to wildlife management : welfare effects of guardian dogs
Allen, Benjamin L.; Allen, Lee R.; Ballard, Guy; Drouilly, Marine; Fleming, Peter J.S.; Hampton, Jordan O.; Hayward, Matt W.; Kerley, Graham I.H.; Meek, Paul D.; Minnie, Liaan; O'Riain, M. Justin; Parker, Daniel M.; Somers, Michael J.
The use of large carnivores and guardian dogs as biocontrol tools against other animals is increasingly recommended despite an absence of assessments of their welfare effects. We provided the first attempt at such an objective assessment in Allen et al. (2019), based on a recognised methodology and as per our commitment to evidence-based wildlife management. We concluded that their very nature means that “large carnivores and guardian dogs cause considerable lethal and non-lethal animal welfare impacts to the individual animals they are intended to control”, and that these impacts “should not be ignored or dismissively assumed to be negligible.” Harmful impacts arise because large carnivores and guardian dogs scare, displace, threaten, attack and kill other animals.