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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The “nuisance” wildlife control industry: animal welfare concerns


The recent and rapid growth of the private “nuisance” wildlife control industry follows the unparalleled current period of urban and suburban expansion. Nuisance wildlife control businesses range from simple home-based services to sophisticated franchised businesses. The nuisance wildlife control operator may hold an advanced degree in the wildlife sciences, or simply be an entrepreneur without formal education or even background experience in wildlife. State and federal agencies may participate directly or indirectly in nuisance wildlife control, in activities ranging from dissemination of advice or information to actual participation in programs that may lead to removal of animals. Naturally, all of the activities associated with nuisance wildlife control concern the many individuals and organizations in North America that are interested in animal welfare and protection. This paper addresses some of their concerns. We present a survey, summary, and critical analysis of the nuisance wildlife control industry with a special emphasis on what we view as its most problematic and troubling aspects. We discuss model standards, based primarily on existing best practices, and speculate about the future of this activity.

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