Invasive alien species: how can they be humanely managed?

18 Nov 2022
Next Thursday the Intergroup on Animal Welfare will meet to discuss the humane management of Invasive Alien Species (IAS). While most wild animals must be protected, some introduced species are listed on the Union list of IAS because of the damage they cause on native biodiversity. Despite the need for management, these animals should not be seen as pests or second class animals. They are sentient beings whose welfare and well-being must be considered.

Article 19(3) of the IAS regulation provides that “Member States shall [...] ensure that, when animals are targeted, they are spared any avoidable pain, distress or suffering, without compromising the effectiveness of the management measures”. But how does it work in practice? Are Member States and wildlife practitioners equipped with the tools to guarantee the welfare of IAS and if not, what are the needs? 

Mr. Juan Pérez Lorenzo, DG Environment, will tell MEPs about the actions undertaken to protect both biodiversity and the welfare of animals in IAS management. The Intergroup is particularly interested in learning more about the future initiatives planned by the European Commission to improve the welfare of IAS on the Union list, currently subject to potentially cruel management practices.

The recently published Manual on feasible and humane management measures for vertebrate IAS commissioned by the European Commission will be presented by Kevin Smith, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This manual is an assessment of management methods for each vertebrate species on the Union list in terms of welfare impact, availability, costs and effectiveness. It informs  wildlife practitioners to ensure that the most suitable method is used. Finally, this manual gives insights on methods where further research is needed and management practices that are strictly incompatible with minimum welfare standards. 

During this session, we will therefore explore and learn potential solutions to ensure the welfare of IAS species.

Join us on Thursday in Weiss LOW N3.2 in the European Parliament in Strasbourg or follow live via a link to be uploaded soon. Interpretation in the room will be available in English, Polish, French, German and Italian.