David Fraser

PhD, University of Glasgow
Faculty of Land and Food Systems

From his childhood on a farm in southern Ontario, David Fraser has maintained a fascination with animals throughout his 44-year research career. With a degree in psychology (Toronto) and a PhD in zoology (Glasgow), Prof. Fraser did research on the welfare of farm animals (Edinburgh School of Agriculture, 1971-1975) and on the behaviour and management of moose (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, 1975-1981) before developing a research team on farm animal welfare and behaviour at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa (1981-1997). He joined UBC in 1997 as NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Animal Welfare.

Primary Recipient Awards

Wall Solutions, David Fraser, 2014

David Fraser
Wall Solutions

Development of Humane Wildlife Control Accreditation Program

Principal Investigator: Dr. David Fraser, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, UBC

Partner(s): Dr. Sara Dubois, Chief Scientific Officer, BC SPCA

British Columbia is known internationally for its diverse wildlife and landscapes, but human-wildlife conflict often arises over concerns for disease transmission, public and pet safety, and nuisance activities. World-wide, vertebrate pest control – the active removal of undesirable wild animals – is one of the major causes of intentional killing by humans. The potential for animal suffering is high, but there are no established scientific criteria or consensus on what methods should be regarded as humane for use in Canada. Further, minimum legal standards vary by jurisdiction and there is typically little enforcement to ensure that humane methods are used. One consequence is frequent conflict between the animal protection movement and others including conservationists. An international collaboration will be formed to establish criteria, scientific evidence, and expert opinion leading to science-based guidelines on humane pest control, initially for an accreditation program in BC, but with a view to providing global leadership.  Results of the Expert Forum on Wildlife Control were published in 2017 in the journal Conservation Biology

This research partnership led to the creation of AnimalKind, the BC SPCA’s animal welfare accreditation and referral program for companies that provide higher welfare animal-related services.


Exploratory Workshops, David Fraser, 2006

David Fraser

This workshop took place Nov 16-18, 2007.

There are three major fields attempting to address questions about appropriate interactions between humans and animals. Wildlife Management has traditionally regarded wildlife as a resource to be used by humans, and management has centred on ensuring that such use is sustainable. Conservation Biology is traditionally based on the core value that biodiversity is desirable, and focuses on efforts to avoid destruction of species. Animal Welfare's core value is that the quality of life of animals should be not be degraded by human activities, and generally focuses on domesticated or captive animals. In many cases where humans and wild animals interact, using only one set of ethical concerns, and one corresponding set of scientific tools, will fail to provide a fully satisfactory solution; appropriate management will often require combining different goals and approaches from different disciplines.

This workshop will explore areas where animal welfare, conservation, and sustainable use concerns intersect. The long-term goal is to develop a program of research, leading ultimately to policy and action, which will integrate the different social concerns and the different scientific approaches.