In the wild
Most landscapes or habitats are managed by people in some way. These activities can cause suffering or affect wild animals in many different ways, either as a direct result, or as an unintended consequence, or a bit of both.
This human-wildlife conflict has serious impacts on animals living in the wild and creates a variety of welfare issues, examples below.
Discarded fishing tackle (hooks, weights and line) causes needless suffering to wildlife, entangling waterfowl and other birds - see the fishing litter indicator in the wildlife section of The Welfare State: Measuring Animal Welfare in the UK (PDF 4.13MB).
Dolphins, porpoises or whales accidentally caught in fishing gear can suffer and die - see the wildlife section of The Welfare State: Measuring Animal Welfare in the UK (PDF 4.13MB).
We are campaigning against the Westminster government’s pilot cull of badgers in England as part of its programme to manage bovine TB.
Garden bird health
Feeding garden birds helps them but there’s also a risk of spreading disease – visit our Feeding Garden Birds page for advice about keeping your local bird population healthy.
Living with wildlife
Our ‘Living with…’ factsheets (available to download free from the species pages) give advice to anyone living in close proximity to wildlife, whether they wish to help the animals in their gardens or deter them humanely.
Whether their introduction results from escape or deliberate release, it may result in control measures to prevent damage or negative impacts on native species. See the Non-native Species Secretariat.
Poisoning of rodents causes them to suffer and can result in secondary poisoning of predators feeding on poisoned animals.
Snaring & Trapping
The use of traps and snares is controlled by legislation; whether a trap is legal depends on the trap type and the target species. Snares are indiscriminate and animals caught in snares can suffer a slow and agonising death due to injury or starvation.
Thousands of wild animals, including deer, are killed or injured in collisions each year – see our factsheet Road traffic accidents involving deer (PDF 664KB).
Ivory trade and poaching
Our wildlife scientists are members of the Species Survival Network (SSN) an international coalition of non-governmental organisations committed to the promotion, enhancement and strict enforcement of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The SSN is working to prevent over-exploitation of animals and plants due to international trade.
Sign a petition against the ivory trade
For more information about the ivory trade, including latest news about ivory seizures and elephant poaching and to sign a petition to speak out against the trade visit: www.bloodyivory.org