Options for Controlling the Population of Domestic and Wild Animals

High School ・Biology ・MLA ・8 Sources

The increase in the population of animals have both positive and negative impacts on agriculture and the ecosystem at large. Overpopulation of the animal occurs as a result of so many factor. One of these is the allowance of domestic and wild animals to reproduce without control. The result of this might be as a result of the relinquishing of domesticated animals by the owner. This can be because they no longer need them or are being overwhelmed by the upkeep. Even among the wild population, there is an increase all thanks to the vast habitat options and an increase in food supply. In addition, the reduction in the number of human predators from hunting gives the herbivore population a chance to increase. Animal overpopulation seems to be a global issue. Critical benefits of anthropogenic alterations that currently take place on the environment are the herbivores. Reduction of activities such as hunting, increased supply of food and habitat are some of the notable factors. A Large population of animals or species overabundance causes some of the widespread problems. The essential animals include elephants, kangaroos, deer, cats, dogs among others. In Australia, the increased number of kangaroos resulted in the extinction of plants. Some animal does extend to human agricultural land destroying crops, landscape and valuable wild plant species. To secure habitat future, there should be an efficient control mechanism for both domestic and wild animals. The method commonly employed entails ecological, moral, ethical and political issues. Among the methods used in controlling domestic and wild animal populations include Euthanasia.

Euthanasia is an induction of death humanely on animals or human. The method results in direct loss of consciousness followed by death with a feeling of minimum pain, distress, and discomfort. The mode of action also entails cessation in all brain activity, circulatory and respiratory functions some of the zoos within the globe do use euthanasia in controlling the population of animals within their zoos (Andersen et al. 1873). In as much as some do use contraceptives, the failure of it usually results in the birth of young ones, therefore, paving the way for alternative control method which is euthanasia. The zoo officials at some points do offer lethal injection to eliminate some of the young animals which exceed the carrying capacity of the zoo. Copenhagen zoo euthanized two leopards cub in the spring of 2012 as part of their plan to monitor or control animal population or breeding management. It is estimated that in each year, the zoo subject 25 healthy animals to euthanasia. Some animals that the zoos do kill include the chimpanzees which are considered to be genetically close to humans.

Some of the critical methods used in animal euthanasia include physical and pharmacological approach. The physical process involves subjection of the animal to conditions that would result in animal losing their consciousness upon interference with the animal central nervous system. The pharmacological method includes the inhalation of gas acting as anesthesia. This technique is applicable in controlling the population of small animals such as rodents. The estimated weight of animal executed via the process is less than 7 kilograms. Typically the method implementation or execution involves two steps. It secondary physical method involves cervical dislocation or decapitation. Inhalation of carbon dioxide is one of the most widely utilized methods under gas anesthesia. The second method under euthanasia is the use of immersion agents. An example is the use of MS222/Tricaine. The technique is exploitable in controlling the population of aquatic animals or species (Bove). It is applicable in combination with the secondary physical approach to achieve a desirable result. The third method is the Cervical Dislocation method or breaking of the neck of captured animals. It is an acceptable method for controlling the population of animal such as mice, immature rats, and small birds. The use of this technique however requires authentication from IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee). Rodents and rabbit populations controllable by use of Decapitation method which entails the use of Guillotines that are to be frequently adjusted so as optimum performance is achievable. Application of Decapitation techniques requires a recommendation from IACUC. Another form of euthanasia includes the use of barbiturate agents which are injectable on the animals that are under population control. The critical injectable chemical comprises Euthasol®, sodium pentobarbital, Eutha 6® and Atal Plus®. The method is not only applicable to controlling the population of small animals but also big animals such as mammals. Killer chemicals are admissible through intravenous injection (IV) and result in unconsciousness, respiratory failure then cardiac arrest. The last form euthanasia method that is applicable to controlling animal population is the Cardiac Perfusion or Exsanguination. However, there is a restriction in its applicability in that there should be the administration of anesthesia before the use. The methods yet draw some debate on their use. Principal among these is the use euthanasia. In as much the euthanasia is spread across the globe, most animal activists refute its purpose and only prefer it when handling animals that are suffering. However, as compared to another method of population control, euthanasia remains as the most appropriate method for massive population control. Hunting has limitations since it might turn out to be non-specific and laborers. The execution of animal may also be unacceptable in some countries.


Hunting is the act of trapping, tracking and the pursuit of wild animal or domestic animal in the attempt of killing them. A species of hunted creature is known as a game or prey. Humans have the responsibility to manage the national side that it has created and the domestic and wildlife animal that it supports. A stable animal population will not result from everyone abandoning these subjects (Brown et al. 804). Historically, predation on wildlife and livestock by carnivores was the earliest form of sustainability and the most significant known type of wildlife destruction. Hunting provides three significant advantages to fitness and health of a population.It offers a unique countrywide section and dispersal, a closed season and the dispatch and search function (hunting-wildlife-population-control-ethical-eating). Humans most commonly do hunting of wild or domestic animals for recreation, used as food and also to get rid of predators that are harmful to humans. Hunting may also help reduce pathogens transmission between wildlife or domestic animal and humans.

Currently, hunting is usable in improving and maintaining a general population of the healthy animal in an eco-system where the carrying capacity has no natural mechanism such as a predator. However, overhunting can heavily weigh and contribute to destruction, endangerment, and extinction of many animals. In Japan, the increasing number of wild boars and dears has hurt the countries agriculture and the ecosystem. Other measures are the separation of habitats belonging to humans. Patrols, installing fences and ensuring that surplus produce are not left in the farm would be useful since farm produce attract both wildlife and domestic animals. Categories of hunting include autumn hunting also known as club hunting, winter hunting or full seasons and digging out or terrier culling. Hunting is considered in three phases the first being the pursuit phase followed by the final stage and last, the kill. all these stages are crucial and when considered a desired result is yielded. there are controversies of using hunting as a means of animal population control. The main effect is undesirable or non discriminative way of elimination that might leave undesirable traits behind. such actions may result in elimination of a parttticularrr species from the globe therefor creating imbalance in the ecosysytem.

Spaying and neutering

Spaying is the performance of ovariohysterectomy in female animals. Parts of the female reproductive system that get surgically removed are the ovaries and uterus which are responsible for the production of ova production, embryo development, and fetus growth. The targeted organs are also responsible for secretion of primary female reproductive hormone s such as progesterone and estrogen which are the vital reproductive hormones in the female. Neutering is the term used in describing the castration of wild and domestic male animals (Dubielzig 190). Neutering and spaying have so far emerged to be one of the rapidly growing techniques utilized in the field of veterinary medicine. The procedure for spaying includes;

Capture of target animal Identification of spaying or neutering site Surgical removal

These two surgical procedures render the subject animal incapable of reproducing. The method helps in regulation of a number of both domestic and wild animals through preventing the reproduction process that would result in giving raise of offspring (dog-spaying). The application of the method has been successful in controlling the number of homeless dogs and cats in countries such the U.S and Australia. In as much the procedure regulates animal population; it also confers some benefit and problem to the subject animal. Spaying reduces the risk of animal developing uterine cancer or mammary cancer. It also assists the female animals to endure heat periods. Comparatively, the neutering also does confer male animals with advantages such as prevention of testicular cancer, reduction of risks of developing prostate cancer and reduced ability to develop reproductive diseases like feline AID.

Spaying and neutering are preferable to eight weeks old female and male domestic or wild animals. It is because they take a shorter time to recuperate from the surgery as compared to the adults. Most country and animal rights activities advocate the spaying and neutering. Some of the key used in spaying include the use of knife, banding, ringing, and use of Burdizzo in crushing sperm cord(White et al. 191). Spaying and neutering are some of the possible technique that applicable in offering a broad solution to the problem of animal overpopulation. Several states in the U.S, Zoos and some country have cross-checked on the some of the beneficial aspects of these programs. Spaying and neuter programs are vital in providing surgical sterilization to wild and domestic animals that offer the risk of contributing to euthanasia and shelter impoundment.

Some of the principal disadvantages of spaying and neutering as a method used in control of the animal population is that the spayed animal may develop obese and predisposed to some diseases. Through research, the spayed or neutered animals require 25% of cholesterol to maintain normal body functions. It is because such animals have a low metabolic rate as compared to other normal animals. Dissection is also equitable to loss of dominant trait or necessary trait for the survival of particular animals. There is a limitation of the passage of genes from spayed and neutered animals. Seemingly, the procedure is more expensive compared to other forms of population control in animals such as hunting. It also entails a lot of responsibility and may be restricted to the small population of the animal.

Works Cited

Andersen, Mark C., Brent J. Martin, and Gary W. Roemer. "Use of matrix population models to estimate the efficacy of euthanasia versus trap-neuter-return for management of free-roaming cats." Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 225.12 (2004): 1871-1876.

Bove, Jennifer. "Euthanasia in Zoos." ThoughtCo, Nov. 15, 2017, thoughtco.com/euthanasia-in-zoos-controversy-1181936.

Brown, Tommy L., et al. "The future of hunting as a mechanism to control white-tailed deer populations." Wildlife Society Bulletin 28.4 (2000): 797-807.

Dubielzig, R. R. "A matched observational study of canine survival with primary intraocular melanocytic neoplasia." Veterinary Ophthalmology 2 (1999): 185ą190.



Kustritz, Margaret V. Root. "Early spay-neuter: clinical considerations." Clinical techniques in small animal practice 17.3 (2002): 124-128.

White, Sara C., Ellen Jefferson, and Julie K. Levy. "Impact of publicly sponsored neutering programs on animal population dynamics at animal shelters: The New Hampshire and Austin experiences." Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 13.3 (2010): 191-212.

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