Feral species are animals that were once domesticated but are now living in the wild. An animal can be considered feral in the following conditions: when they are abandoned, released, or escaped from human captivity. The most common types of feral animals are the house pets like cats and dogs, livestocks such as pigs , as well as goats and released zoo animals. However, among these feral animals, cats are considered to the be most common due to their rapid reproduction.
Although they can be considered as adorable pets, feral animals can also be uncontrolled and wild. With no intervention, they can cause harm. Among the risks from feral animals are rabies and and other diseases spread throughtheir bites and body secretions such as urine and saliva. But, there are also other risks and harms that they can cause including environmental, ecological, and even economical. This is why feral control is still necessary in certain circumstances.
Feral animals could also affect the gene pools of animals. They sometimes breed with pure bred animals, resulting to a hybrid offspring. With hybrid offspring, the number off pure-bred animals would lessen, while the hybrids would increase in number. This can cause major extinction of some breed. In the ecology, feral animals could cause damage too, as they compete and fight for the resources and food of the indigenous species in the area, causing the unnecessary shortage of resources. Aside from that, feral animals can be predators to some important species of animals and plants, which can also disturb the natural ecology of wildlife. Without appropriate feral control, these animals can disrupt the natural food cycle of a certain area.
Economically, feral animals can cause trouble, especially when they attack the agricultural areas. These animals would compete with the food of the domestic livestock, and can also pollute the water resources. At some point, they can even destroy the vegetation severely affecting planters or farmers income. Feral animals can also pass some contagious viruses to the domesticated animal.
Due to their potential damages, feral animals should be controlled. There is no doubt about that, especially for the affected farmers. Unfortunately, there are few ways feral control, at least in agricultural lands and domestic properties.
Easiest way of feral control is by placing an unpassable fence around the area to avoid feral animals from entering the vicinity. This would only be practical in small areas, because this would need maintenance and it would be expensive. Another way to control feral animals is by traps. These are used to capture the animals alive, to transfer them to other place or if you are into it, use their meat. Some example of traps are yard traps, cage traps and soft-catch trap, which are are normally accompanied by food, as bait. But it might be too much of a hassle because the traps should be checked every day. Shooting is also a way of managing the population and damage caused by feral animals. These are often used in open fields and remote areas. Surprisingly, shooting is still considered as humane as it is seen to reduce the stress of the animals for the transportation process.
Feral control may seem to be too much to handle, but the brighter side is these species do not usually reach an uncontrollable level especially in domestic areas. So, a simple fencing or single trap may already do for your own property.