Journal article

Improving Animal Welfare in Wildlife Shooting: The Importance of Projectile Energy

Jordan O Hampton, Peter J Adams, David M Forsyth, Brendan D Cowled, Ivor G Stuart, Tim H Hyndman, Teresa Collins



In wildlife shooting programs, the energy profile of the projectile or bullet (i.e., kinetic energy transferred to the animal), as distinct from caliber (projectile diameter), is an important factor for animal welfare. We examined the role of projectile energy in determining animal welfare outcomes for a typical European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) sharpshooting program. We compared 2 projectiles of different energy profiles: low-energy 40-grain.22 long rifle rimfire (.22LR; 198 J) bullets and high-energy 40-grain.222 Remington® centerfire (.222R; 1,433 J) bullets, fired under similar conditions on 3 nights in September 2014, on a livestock grazing property near Broken Hill, New South Wal..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This project was funded by the Robert Hammond Foundation and Murdoch University. We thank the landholder and rabbit shooting team for their cooperation, and the comments of 2 anonymous reviewers and the Associate Editor for improving the manuscript.