Risk assessment regarding the welfare of wild animals subjected to marking
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) has requested the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM) to perform a risk assessment concerning impaired animal welfare related to marking of free-ranging wild mammals and birds.
In recent years, the marking of free-ranging wild animals for research and management purposes has increased in Norway. New capture techniques and new marking methods have also been developed.
VKM is asked to assess the risk of impairing the welfare in wildlife subjected to marking for research, conservation, or management purposes. VKM is requested to assess the general welfare problems related to the most commonly used marking methods in terrestrial and marine mammals, and birds.
Mattilsynet also wants VKM to assess the cumulative risk of impaired welfare when marking specific wild animal- and bird species. The committee is asked to assess the welfare risks, both in a short and long-term perspective, including risks related to recapture and re-marking.
In addition, VKM is requested to suggest possible replacement strategies, reduction strategies and refinement strategies (3rs) for the purpose of reducing the risk of impaired welfare in future wildlife research, conservation and management.
The assessment will be used as a foundation considering new regulations when marking wild animals and birds. The risk assessment is expected to be finalized by the end of 2012.