A systemic approach to assess the potential and risks of wildlife culling for infectious disease control.
Miguel E., Grosbois V., Caron A., Pople D., Roche B., Donnelly CA.
The maintenance of infectious diseases requires a sufficient number of susceptible hosts. Host culling is a potential control strategy for animal diseases. However, the reduction in biodiversity and increasing public concerns regarding the involved ethical issues have progressively challenged the use of wildlife culling. Here, we assess the potential of wildlife culling as an epidemiologically sound management tool, by examining the host ecology, pathogen characteristics, eco-sociological contexts, and field work constraints. We also discuss alternative solutions and make recommendations for the appropriate implementation of culling for disease control.