Kevin Newell is the founder of Humane Wildlife Solutions, a pest control company that differs from any other business in the industry. Humane Wildlife Solutions is Europe’s first and only award-winning, non-lethal, vegan, and humane alternative solution for pest control. They do not use poisons or other harmful chemicals.
How do they do it? Kevin puts in action his ten years of experience working within wildlife protection and his vast knowledge of animal behaviour. He does not see animals as pests; he considers all animals as part of our ecosystem, with which we humans need to live in harmony and not against it.
Humane Wildlife Solutions is an eco-friendly company that does not use any substances that may harm the environment or the animals.
I asked Kevin about the impact that the traditional pest control methods have on the environment and how Humane Wildlife Solutions manages to successfully deal with conflicts between humans and wildlife using a non-lethal and effective way.
Hi Kevin, can you please tell us a bit about when and why you created Humane Wildlife Solutions?
Humane Wildlife Solutions was created in 2012 to try and help urban wildlife, with millions of wildlife being trapped and poisoned each year. I wanted to find a better way to help people with wildlife conflicts that didn’t involve the creatures being harmed that was in line with my vegan values.
On your website, you mention that you cater to residential and commercial businesses. What services do you provide, and which areas you currently cover?
We cover the whole of the UK and even have worked across Europe helping people with wildlife conflicts where we offer assessments, inspections, consultations and full proofing of homes and businesses.
What species do you cover, and how Humane Wildlife Solutions helps make a difference in our ecosystem?
We cover any species that people need help with and have worked on cases involving Spiders, Skunks, Baboons, Raccoons, Badgers and down to everyday cases with Rats, Mice, Birds and Foxes. By not using poisons and people choosing us it is taking toxic poisons both dangerous to all wildlife and the environment out of the local ecosystems simply by us not using any. Every job we do which a kill company would have done stops these toxic poisons from ever being used.
Do your services cost more than a conventional pest control company? If not, why is that? How effective are your non-lethal and ethical methods?
We try and be really reasonable with our prices and they match conventional pest control companies’ costs. We do this as we want to help people with wildlife problems and not penalise them for trying to be ethical. Every job is a process and some take longer than others to solve but once its complete it is very effective.
You mention that one of the things you do is educational talks and campaigns to inform people why they should consider a humane alternative to manage wildlife conflict. Can you tell us what the impact of the traditional pest control process on the environment is?
Traditional pest control is harmful in many ways. From poisons and kill traps killing not just the target species but also killing non-target mammals like shrews, voles and Hedgehogs right up to Owls, Cats and Dogs. Then as these poisons move through the food chain it affects even more species. The only way to combat this is by using non-lethal ethical solutions like the ones we offer.
Are there any statistics on the numbers of non-intended victims lost due to the killing and poisoning methods used by the conventional pest control companies? Can you mention some examples of incidents involved non-intended victims?
There are no stats that I have been able to find simply because there is no regulation stating that pest controllers have to record any kills and no business is ever going to admit killing non-target species due to the legal repercussions of killing protected species. The case that stands out to me of a non-target victim was a kitten that was stuck to a glue trap and nearly died, luckily the owner found them and the kitten recovered or of a kill trap catching and killing a Red Squirrel. These are only the tip of the iceberg of reported cases and there will be thousands of non reported cases and cases where the animal is never found.
You also do your own research to find new and revolutionary solutions to improve the conflict between humans and wildlife. Can you tell us about this side of the business and what projects and campaigns are you involved with currently?
It is important for us to always try to improve our science, help more wildlife and challenge the current status quo on dealing with wildlife. So our biggest project at the moment would be our completely plant compound based wasp nest repellent. It is still undergoing lots of studies and research but if successful it means an unwanted wasps nest can hopefully be encouraged to move away without causing any harm. We are working on three other projects at the moment but I can’t talk about those in any detail just yet..
Do you find that people are more aware of the environmental impact of their co-existence with wildlife these days than when you first started the business?
I think now people have the option to use a non-lethal service they prefer and when we educate them on what’s really happening a lot of people are then happy to co-exist. So education is vital for co-existence.
Can you give us an example of how you incorporate your vegan values into running your business?
My vegan values are what HWS is built upon with the biggest value being that we will not kill any species. People find it odd that we even extend this to insects but this is because my vegan values guide me to protect all life be it mammal, birds or insects.
What are your plans for the future of Humane Wildlife Solutions?
We are hoping to expand within the UK and Europe soon and ramp up of research programmes so we can help more wildlife and more people.
Watch the talk by Kevin Newell of Humane Wildlife Solutions, on ‘Overcoming Wildlife Conflicts the Vegan Way’. Here you can see the Webinar they have done for the amazing Onekind about over coming wildlife conflicts without harming the wildlife.
Humane Wildlife Solutions has won the PETA award for an ethical approach to business with wildlife.