USDA National Wildlife Research Center Symposia


Date of this Version

August 1995


Americans have long been in favor of humane treatment of animals. Increasingly, the public is involved in dictating acceptable wildlife management practices. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal Damage Control program has been the recipient of much adverse publicity regarding its killing of target and nontarget animals. Growing opposition to various methods of lethal control such as use of steel jaw leghold traps or poisons likely will result in continuing restrictions or outright prohibitions against their use in the future. Alternative methods of wildlife control are critical.

Nonlethal techniques are key to the future of the Animal Damage Control program. Repellents represent an area of great promise. There is much research which needs to be conducted in this area including continuing isolation and identification of natural repellents. The success with methyl anthranilate (MA) as a humane method of control demonstrates the utility of this approach. Just imagine the public's response to a switch from lethal methods of control to a new arsenal of tools which includes so gentle and environmentally harmless a substance as "grape juice" (MA) to repel birds.