The killing of animals


Jedi Master
This caught my attention and made me think. Why are animals killed just because they are invasive? Is it really a bad thing? Humans are invasive too, right?

Feral turtles must be captured and killed in Sweden

Water turtles have started to appear in watercourses around Sweden. The species is counted as invasive and, according to EU regulations, the turtle must be eradicated, the Swedish Hunters Union announces.

- Either they have escaped or been released by their owners when they have become tired of them, says P-A Åhlén, project manager Mårdhundsprojekt.

In June, the Swedish Hunters Union begins the handling of the water turtle that the EU has listed as an invasive species that must be eradicated. Yet they do not know how many turtles are in the watercourses in Sweden, but according to P-A Åhlén, project manager for the Mårdhund project, there seems to be quite a few.

The project is named after the first invasive species that the Swedish Hunters Association was commissioned to eradicate.

- If the turtles become too many, they can have a devastating effect on biodiversity in the watercourses that they are in because they are omnivorous and can do damage in several ways, says P-A Åhlén.


Can live in lakes for 20-30 years
But so far there are no indications of this because it is too cold in Sweden to allow the eggs of the turtles to hatch during the summer.

- But if we go into an ever warmer climate then they will be able to reproduce themselves and then it can take a lot of speed. They can live for 20-30 years in lakes.

Escaped or released by their owners
The ferocious turtles have mainly been found in Southern and Central Sweden. P-A Åhlén believes that the turtles have either escaped or been released by their owners. Today, the species is forbidden to transfer or sell in Europe but is not prohibited from holding.

- They are big as a five crown when you buy them and very beautiful. But after five to six years, they are as big as a plate and shit more than they eat. It smells like sewage in the house if you do not have a good filter in its aquarium. Then you might not want to have the turtle and rather release it than kill it.

Next week, a group from the Mårdhund project goes to a nature reserve in Spain to learn which eradication methods are best. In Spain, 23 000 turtles have been removed, says P-A Åhlén.

"Most humane to shoot them"
He says that the most humane is to shoot them because alternate(*) reptiles that are killed by killing agents often go through a long and painful process.

- Probably we'll catch them alive, but we don't know how to capture them best yet. Once we have them in hand, they will be killed.

The Swedish Hunting Association is in great need of the public's tips and reports.

- Take a picture and send to us if you see a turtle. We cannot travel around and look in all the waters, we burn the taxpayers' money in no time, says P-A Åhlén.

* Not sure if 'alternate reptiles' is the correct translation. The word in the swedish article is 'växelvarma' which I think is either translated to ectothermic, poikilotherm, Endotherm or cold blooded, I dont know which.

Link to article: Förvildade sköldpaddor ska utrotas i Sverige: ”Mest humant att skjuta dem”
This is a hard one to get our head around. Better question to ask is what led to the increase in the first place? Reading between the lines, it seems that they were adopted as pets and then let out in the bushes by humans. So, the increase and even the introduction of the turtles in the area is not natural and they are not going to simply disappear naturally. Its a problem created by humans and now they are having to deal with it.
Take these examples - Someone introduced camels into Australia a while ago for transporting goods. This was before the industrial revolution and railways. Camels did not originate naturally or migrate to Australia on their own. So, now you have thousands of them running around and destroying vegetation turning the outback into an even more barren wasteland. Kangaroos are doing the same too since there isn't a natural predator out there to hunt them.
A while ago, they were euthanising feral cats in New Zealand since their numbers have grown massively. There are cats in NZ who just hang around homes hoping for someone to feed them. People move houses in NZ and let their cat out within minutes and poor buggers get lost and would live at neighbouring property for years. You are supposed to keep the cats indoor for at least one month to get them used to the new house. People don't care since there are so many of them - until they become a problem.

So, I would personally not choose the euthanise option if it was up to me. Catch them and de-sex them until the problem can be mitigated or population numbers stabilised.
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