Control of Animals Creating Nuisance or Conflict


The Alberta SPCA recognizes that all animals have intrinsic value but may need to be controlled to prevent or reduce property damage, control disease, promote sustainable agriculture practices or ensure biodiversity and ecological balance. The Alberta SPCA supports the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM).*


An IPM system should be undertaken before instigating control measures. IPM includes

  • investigating and undertaking preventative measures to stop the establishment of a pest population
  • evaluating the position of the pest species in the ecosystem and the positive and negative outcomes of altering its population numbers
  • establishing a threshold population level below which control measures are not necessary
  • evaluating and refining pest control methods

Non-lethal control practices should be the initial method of choice and include

  • habitat modification
  • the reduction of access using fences, screens, covers, etc.
  • the use of natural guard animals
  • appropriate planning regarding the construction and location of residential of commercial developments
  • population control through reproductive cycle interference

If the decision is made to use lethal methods of control:

  • The animal’s death must be quick and cause the least amount of pain and distress. Methods causing long-term suffering, such as sticky traps and certain chemical poisons, are to be avoided.
  • The effect of the method on the environment and non-target species must be considered.
  • There must be strict adherence to federal, provincial and municipal laws regarding the use of pest control methods.

The Alberta SPCA supports continued research to identify effective and humane methods of managing animals that create nuisance or conflict while maintaining the integrity of the ecosystem.

* More information about Integrated Pest Management is available on the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association website.