Wildlife Comn Seeks Comments on Wildlife Fertility Policy
May 8, 2009
2009 Wildlife Fertility Control Policy under Consideration
The Colorado Wildlife Commission will consider the issue of fertility control methods as a possible tool for managing overabundant and nuisance wildlife populations in locations where traditional methods are impractical or prohibited (hunting seasons, translocation, habitat modification, etc.). The Commission has authority to regulate the use of fertility control in free-ranging wildlife and to determine specific circumstances in which fertility control of wildlife may be considered and possibly permitted.
CWF’s Position: In our view, fertility control methods are fraught with scientific and environmental ramification, many of which are fully understood. A full understanding of other ramifications has yet to be achieved. The following seven points represent our thinking and recommendations on fertility control policy.
1. A policy is necessary to ensure that the Division of Wildlife recognizes the emerging nature of ungulate fertility control, specifically, and the use of fertility control in wildlife populations, generally. In addition, we believe that the Division must maintain substantial, if not exclusive, control over its use to manage wildlife populations.
2. The Commission must stipulate unequivocally that fertility control shall be used only in cases where a current population level or distribution and a desired objective are both quantified and justified with data.
3. The issue of monitoring the effects of fertility control applications must be addressed. Possibly, some type of bonding should be required.
4. Proponents should be required to provide clear and convincing evidence that no methods of direct removal are legal, feasible and effective.
5. The policy should require that the application of fertility control is specific as to the number of species, gender, location and duration. CWF does not support any “broadcast” applications such as baits.
6. The matter of who will bear the expense must be clear within the policy. Normally, we expect that the proponent would bear the cost.
7. The use of fertility control and the method must be communicated very clearly to the public and to sportsmen to minimize confusion.