Animal Health and Welfare
Report no: 2013: 26
Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM) has conducted a risk assessment concerning impaired animal welfare related to marking of free-ranging wild mammals and birds.
Wild animals are adapted for a life in the free, and hazards that can threaten their life, health or welfare are normal parts of their existence.
All free-living animals are subjected to natural challenges such as diseases, starvation or predation or man-made hazards such as hunting, traffic, oil (and other) pollution or destruction of habitat.
The overall welfare risk of populations from capture and marking are, in comparison, limited or negligible. The focus of this assessment is anyhow on the welfare risks of individual animals created by the need to catch and mark them in a scientific or management context.
In general, any capture or marking of wild animals will interfere with the normal behaviour of the animal and pose a risk to its welfare. The need for science-based national or international regulation of this practice is relevant.
The capture and handling procedures that are commonly used are thoroughly described and discussed. Some general conclusions are made:
The marking methods that are commonly used for different wild species are thoroughly described and discussed. Some general conclusions are made: