Lethal vs. non-lethal predator management: Which works better for livestock producers?

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Lethal vs. non-lethal predator management: Which works better for livestock producers?

Based on available evidence, non-lethal predator control is more effective than lethal means

That is the conclusion of scientists who reviewed the scientific literature regarding effectiveness of various means of predator control.

“Non-lethal controls were more effective than lethal methods in preventing carnivore predation on livestock.”

At least two lethal methods, government culling and regulated public hunting, were actually found to have been followed by increases in predation on livestock in some cases, whereas none of the tests of non-lethal methods found such counterproductive impacts.

Based on their review of the best available scientific evidence, the team suggests in the study that the effectiveness of preventing livestock losses could be considerably increased if non-lethal methods are implemented more regularly and decision-makers follow a simple process for choosing which method to employ:

“When two or more interventions to control predators are lawful, we recommend that farmers, managers, policy makers, and courts first consider functional effectiveness (will the intervention prevent future threats to human interests?) and the strength of inference for that effect. If two candidate interventions perform equally by those criteria, then we recommend that two additional criteria be considered before implementing predator control: public acceptance (will the intervention be supported by both the complainants and the general public?) and ecological consequences (will the intervention deplete biodiversity or ecosystem services?).”

Based on available evidence, non-lethal predator control is more effective than lethal means

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