How Selective Culling Works

Arguments in Favor of Selective Culling

Let's go back to the TV for a moment. As you watch your program, in awe of the circle of life, do you call the morals of the lion into question? Do you judge the lion for killing the stray antelope? Probably not -- and don't feel bad, most people wouldn't. While the image of the mauling may disgust you a little, you don't ha­ve any real qualms with the lion. You just write it off as a part of life. Here, the lion used selective culling to lock down its dinner, and hunters have been known to use this method as well.

­The biggest argument for hunting is that the sport controls overpopulated species that are running out of the natural resources they require to survive. By killing some, hunters make life easier on the others by reducing the need for competition. Now, throw selective culling into the hunting mix.

Many hunters think of selective culling as a humane way to hunt. They aren't killing animals that are strong and in the prime of their lives, but weak ones who probably struggle to get by. If they're diseased, they could be in a lot of pain with no chance of alleviation. Selective culling allows these animals a quick death, as opposed to what might be a long and painful natural death.

By killing the weakest link, some hunters believe that they've helped the herd by leaving it stronger than they found it. The weak member is often easier to track, allowing practice for new or unsure hunters [source: Crusader Safaris]. This also helps make an accurate shot less of a feat, producing a clean, quick kill.

Some say that selective culling counteracts trophy hunting, which takes a majority of males. It often targets females, rebalancing the species [source: Crusader Safaris].

But is this fair? Just because the lion did it doesn't necessarily mean it's OK for humans. Read ahead to consider why others think the practice is wrong.