Welfare Implications of the Night Shooting of Wild Impala (Aepyceros Melampus)
The most common method of culling impala (Aepyceros melampus) and many other antelope species in Africa was evaluated from a welfare point of view. The culling of 856 impala from 401 herds was observed and recorded in the Mkuzi Game Reserve, South Africa. Ninety-three per cent of animals were killed instantaneously by the first shot. Results indicated that herd size and composition, distance of herd from hunting vehicle and shot number all have a bearing on the number of animals wounded and missed. It is concluded that the culling of free-ranging impala by night-hunting in the manner described is a satisfactory method on welfare grounds, although a number of recommendations are made which might render the culling process more humane. It is argued that economic and welfare considerations are not necessarily in conflict, and long-term efficiency is likely to be enhanced by addressing both simultaneously.
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