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Wildlife management & Hunting in Europe What role for Veterinary expertise? FVE / EVERI Brussels, 15th November 2012 Dr. Med Vet Yves LECOCQ Senior Policy.

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Presentation on theme: "Wildlife management & Hunting in Europe What role for Veterinary expertise? FVE / EVERI Brussels, 15th November 2012 Dr. Med Vet Yves LECOCQ Senior Policy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wildlife management & Hunting in Europe What role for Veterinary expertise? FVE / EVERI Brussels, 15th November 2012 Dr. Med Vet Yves LECOCQ Senior Policy Advisor FACE

2 Founded in 1977 – H.Q. in the heart of Brussels Secretariat: 10 full-time professional staff Promotes sustainable hunting, as a tool for conservation & rural development: “7,000,000 European hunters for Biodiversity Conservation” Advocates for the collective interests of its Member Associations from 37 European countries

3 Council of Europe (1949) 47 Member Countries European Union (1958) 27 Member States

4 Hunting in Europe Some facts & figures Hunting & Society -from 1.3 M (France) to 2,000 (Luxembourg); % ♀ hunters ↑ -from 1 hunter / 17 inhabitants (Finland) to 1 / 593 (Netherlands) -From 1 hunter / 300 ha (Poland) to 1 / 26 ha (Denmark) -15 Billion € annual turn-over & +150,000 full-time jobs & considerable voluntary fieldwork (habitat restoration etc.) Game & Biodiversity -more Ungulates & Large Carnivores than ever before in last 2oo years -farmland game-birds ↓, predators & birds of prey ↑ -+65% of EU countryside is managed for / by hunters

5 Europe is marked by a great diversity in landscapes, habitats, wildlife + in socio-cultural aspects of human life Subsidiarity!

6 → (game) species diversity

7 + great socio-cultural hunting diversity

8 Nordic hunting model -recreational hunting but equally to generate quality food! -organised hunting by local communities (up too 300 kg meat / moose!) -popular, democratic, non- commercial…. -sound game management & hunters’ behaviour

9 - focus on ungulates! (DE: 1.1 Million Roe deer + 400.000 Wild boar / year) - professional game management & high ethical standards & hunters’ training - stalking / driven Germanic hunting model

10 Anglo-Saxon hunting model -driven game-birds (several hundreds/day) -intensive game-bird rearing (several millions/year) -professional game management & high ethical standards -deer stalking (Scotland!)

11 Latin hunting model -migratory bird hunting! (quail, pigeons & doves, waterfowl) -driven wild boar hunting -Spain: monteria for deer, wild boar… -less concern for game management & ethical standards?

12 …but also by common features and characteristics… active interest / love for Nature, wildlife, animals in general enjoy “good life” & companionship passion for dogs & their performance …not unlike Veterinarians?

13 Hunting involves… -The taking / harvesting / regulating = killing of wild animals - The use of / care for “companion” animals: dogs / hounds, ferrets, birds of prey… - The production of game meat for human consumption & of Animal By- Products (ABP) - The regulation of overabundant populations, including for sanitary reasons (CSF, TB, AI…) - The breeding / rearing / keeping of game (birds) All these aspects have a “veterinary” dimension!

14 e.g. European CHARTER on Sustainable Hunting Unrealistic & not necessary Harmonisation? Unrealistic & not necessary! → common principles with guidelines incl. for welfare, hygiene & health rules = subsidiarity

15 Principle 7: Ensure that harvest is properly utilised and wastage avoided Guidelines: Conservation will be enhanced if 7.2.1 Regulators and managers: a) Encourage the proper handling and processing of harvested wildlife; b) Ensure that game products comply with standards for health and hygiene before sale and/ or commercial consumption. - and - 7.2.2 Hunters and hunting tour operators: a) Properly care for meat in order to prevent wastage and contamination; … d) Observe rules of proper hygiene to ensure game meat quality and guard against detrimental health effects for consumers;...

16 Principle 10: Minimise avoidable suffering by animals Guidelines: Conservation will be enhanced if 10.2.1 Regulators and managers: a) Adopt rules, regulations and incentives that promote methods and equipment that minimise avoidable suffering for animals; … c) Recognise and promote best practices. - and - 10.2.2 Hunters and hunting tour operators: a) Show respect for game animals and strive to reduce or eliminate avoidable suffering where possible; b) Learn about animal physiology and the most efficient way to kill game while inflicting minimal suffering; c) Promote measures which ensure proficiency in the use of hunting techniques and implements; d) Strive to efficiently track down and dispatch wounded game;

17 -Wild Game Meat Hygiene & Health Regulations 852, 853, 854/2004 -Trichinella Regulation 2075/2005 - Animal By-Products Regulation EU Consumer Protection Policy:

18 In Germany alone ca. 24.000.000 kg game meat / year All products for human consumption are subject to hygiene rules → but special status for (wild) game meat Most game meat is marketed directly to final consumer FACE successfully advocated concept “hunter = trained person” Why a EU legal framework for game meat hygiene?

19 ± 1 dog for 1 hunter!

20 = ± 7.000.000 “hunting” dogs in Europe! = working dogs (retrievers, pointers, hounds, terriers, tracking dogs…): essential for responsible and ethical hunting, e.g. search for wounded game (also from other causes, such as traffic accidents) …& as companion animals / partners

21 A performing hunting dog = a well trained dog …in the interests of: people (traffic accidents, getting bitten…) animals, wild & domestic (sheep, horses…) the dog itself (getting lost, shot, killed by car…)

22 No EU rules (yet)… …only Council of Europe European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals (1987) Article 7 “Training”

23 No pet animal shall be trained in a way that is detrimental to its health and welfare, especially by forcing it to exceed its natural capacities or strength or by employing artificial aids which cause injury or unnecessary pain, suffering or distress. Explanatory Report (1988) : As training can be a source of severe stress for the animal - some training methods even being cruel - the need was felt to make a severe provision on this issue, which requires that the animal will never be forced to exceed its natural capacities or strength.

24 How to correct wrong (dog) behaviour? In order to be effective, a correction needs to be: proportional (so also sufficiently strong for not to be ignored) given at the right moment = immediately after the command was ignored understood by the dog = linked to a clear and unambiguous command followed by a reward if the dog obeys the given command

25 Practical example A dog moves away too far from the hunter (e.g. chasing a hare) The hunter calls back his dog with a strong signal (e.g. whistle) The dog does not react → immediately the collar is activated and the dog receives an aversive stimulus → the dog understands the link with its behaviour The dog returns to the hunter, the collar is no longer activated: the dog establishes a link between the whistle sound (positive discriminatory stimulus), the right behaviour (to return to his handler) and the disappearance of the aversive stimulus 2 nd whistle: the dog returns immediately & non-appearance of the aversive stimulus The hunter rewards his dog = in principle not necessary but act as additional positive reinforcement

26 Emotion, ideology or science? Also reflected in terminology used: shock-collars, electronic collars, e-collars, training collars… But what are the facts???

27 « We have not proved that the long-term welfare of the shocked dogs is hampered, but we have made clear that it is under serious threat. ». … « To counter misuse of the shock collar, it is proposed to ban its use for “sports”, but save it for therapeutic applications, such as for suppressing hunting and killing sheep. »

28 « We also wish to thank the Bond tot Bescherming van Honden (Association for Dog Protection) who provided the funding. » « We limited ourselves to behavioural reactions and omitted cortisol or other measures of physiological nature » … « Although shocks may be painful, this does not imply that there is physical damage. A recent report on possible damage by the use of shock collars provides no evidence for physical damage and states that this is even unlikely (Klein, 2000). »

29 “Comparison of stress and learning effects of three different training methods in dogs” (2009)

30 “This study investigated stress and learning effects of 3 training methods: electronic training collar, pinch collar, and quitting signal. Forty-two police dogs, all Belgian Malinois, received a different training method on each of 3 test days. The dogs’ behavioural reactions and salivary cortisol levels were measured. Concerning behavioural reactions, pinch collars were most stressful. Concerning salivary cortisol levels, the quitting signal was most stressful. Electronic training collars produced the best learning effects.” « In this study the e-collar induced the highest learning effect and least Stress »

31 Ethical dilemma? One or two unpleasant but harmless electric shocks will – when administered correctly – allow to avoid major harm!

32 On the Welfare of Wild Animals

33 On the welfare of wild animals The EU has no legal / technical competence in this domain! Lisbon Treaty, Article 13 In formulating and implementing the Union's agriculture, fisheries, transport, internal market, research and technological development and space policies, the Union and the Member States shall, since animals are sentient beings, pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals, while respecting the legislative or administrative provisions and customs of the Member States relating in particular to religious rites, cultural traditions and regional heritage. But the EU Institutions are under heavy pressure from AW / AR NGO’s running massive lobbying campaigns (costing Millions of €!) to influence public opinion and presenting misleading information → seals in Canada, fur bearing animals…

34 Is there a distinction between the two? Scientific facts versus Emotionalism? Fair lobbying versus aggressive campaigning? Honest communication versus misleading tactics? Animal Welfare / Rights Movement!

35 Their ultimate objective? A meat-less & pet-less society Up to the relevant sectors (incl. the veterinary profession) to tackle this challenge!


37 Thank you for your attention!

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