WSPA’s animal welfare position

WSPA advocates a humane approach to managing conflicts with wildlife, in line with our organisational vision: a world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty ends.

Our Human Bear Conflict (HBC) field work and research has demonstrated realistic and effective humane methods to reduce conflict with persistent ‘conflict bears’, recognising that conflict bears are usually the symptom of underlying problems, such as poor garbage management. To work long-term, these methods must be part of a holistic approach that includes the active participation of a range of stakeholders.

A humane and holistic approach to conflict reduction avoids injuring bears, causing unnecessary death or imposing a lifetime in poor captive conditions. It also protects human lives and livelihoods, the importance of which are safeguarded within WSPA’s approach.

Read more about the effects of HBC on bears >>

A common future

Many people live in close proximity to natural bear habitat
Many people live in close proximity to natural bear habitat

Our long-term coexistence with bears depends on proactively implementing balanced solutions that serve a common future. Strategies for reducing Human Bear Conflict should:

  • strive to reduce conflict incidents to sustainable and socially acceptable levels, while ensuring human safety and sustaining bear populations over time
  • be based on informed and responsible stewardship of habitat shared by bears and people
  • be founded on ethical and humane approaches
  • promote tolerance for the proximity of wildlife.

Approaches based on these beliefs is explored in Principles of Human Bear Conflict reduction (WSPA, 2009), a document prepared by wildlife experts (including IUCN specialists) and social scientists to inform governments and specialised non-government organisations. Read more and download document >>