|RSPCA Australia recognises that the state of an ecosystem directly affects the diversity of populations, the likely survival of species and the welfare of individual animals within it. Consideration of wild animal welfare thus requires finding a balance between maintaining the viability of an ecosystem and protecting the welfare of individual animals.
|RSPCA Australia believes that wherever human activities have the potential to have a negative impact on wild animals, whether directly or indirectly, we have a duty to ensure that they are conducted in a way that causes as little injury, suffering or distress to animals as possible.
|RSPCA Australia supports the use of independent environmental impact assessments to determine the potential of any development to threaten the continued survival of a species, significantly alter existing ecosystems, or have a negative impact on animal welfare. Where development projects identify threats to the welfare of wild animals, conditions must be placed on the development to mitigate these threats. Where mitigation is not possible or reasonable the development should not go ahead.
|RSPCA Australia believes that management practices utilising natural resources (such as mining and logging) must be designed to ensure that they cause as little suffering to animals or negative consequences for the viability of a given population as possible.
|RSPCA Australia supports the establishment and maintenance of national parks and conservation zones in areas of environmental significance to preserve genetic diversity, promote biodiversity and protect native animals from human impacts. The use of such areas should only permit activities that do not compromise animal welfare. At the same time, RSPCA Australia recognises that these areas alone are not sufficient for the conservation of biodiversity.
|RSPCA Australia supports the ratification by the Australian government of international treaties, conventions and agreements which serve to protect biodiversity and promote the humane treatment of wild animals.
Glossary of terms
Wild animals – animals (native and introduced) living and reproducing in the wild on land and in water
Native animals native species – animals that are indigenous to Australia
Introduced animals introduced species – animals that are not indigenous to Australia. Feral animals are a specific group of introduced animals that have reverted from domestication to a wild state (e.g. horses and goats)
Pest animals (invasive animals) – wild animals that have a negative impact on the environment agriculture or other human activity (may be native or introduced species)
Target animals – animals identified as subject to management under a wild animal management program. Non-target animals are animals co-existing in the same environment but are not subject to management.