Yes I will reflect on this. If you are talking about a situation where
the poor health or injury is due to human accident, carelessness,
intervention or whatever, then one can certainly argue a "moral" or
"ethical" basis to euthanase. If it can be treated, that is even better
and there are any number of good stories of wildlife carers who have
done great jobs in this way. Whilst it is best to remove damaging
tangles if possible, some birds are able to survive after losing toes or
a foot. Sometimes to do so is unachievable. To that extent what you
write is probably true. However to suggest that every animal found in
terminal difficulty must be euthanased I think is odd and impractical
and goes against that we should not interfere in nature. Deciding on
what can or not survive is not always so clear. Some injured animals can
be maintained in captivity quite well and be used for breeding,
education etc. This is often true of raptors.
To remove the individual from the ecosystem in the way you suggest, by
removing the opportunity for predation on that animal, by another
animal, may be counterproductive. I suggest in most cases it is better
that an injured animal be taken by a predator, if that is a likely
possibility, and thereby maintain its place in the ecosystem, than to be
removed by people who are. Otherwise the predators would just find
someone else to eat. Unless of course the injury is due to poisoning
that can be passed up the food chain. If an injured animal is in
terminal pain and can be captured without great stress and euthanased
humanely I would often agree with you. Apart from that, regardless of
whether or not it is humane to leave an animal to die of infection,
starvation or predation, that is the natural system that has happened
forever and it is not (necessarily) our role or ability to "play god"
and terminate it or to make the decision to take its life.
On Behalf Of storm
Sent: Tuesday, 26 October 2010 9:22 AM To:
Subject: Lethal nest materials
> At this point, it became clear the bird wouldn't survive. It had spent
> at least a full day struggling so hard, its leg was broken and hung
> loose. If infection didn't kill it, inability to perch surely would.
> We debated getting it euthanised but decided to let it go. It flew
> away strongly, towards its parents.
can I ask all listers to reflect upon the above statement?
An animal that can not survive, ethically (if not in law), must be
euthanised. It is not humane to leave an animal to die of infection,
starvation or predation because one does not want to have to make the
decision to take it's life.
If one feels unable to make the decision one's self please hand the bird
to a wildlife rehabber or vet so that the bird may receive appropriate
care, pain relief and other medication, while a decision about the
viability or otherwise of the bird is determined.
I have killed far too many animals and I never get used to it, it is
never a casual decision. But a humane death is a far kinder thing than
to give the bird days or weeks of suffering before the inevitable
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