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Animal welfare, social license, and wildlife use industries

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... We have shown there are some enduring animalwelfare issues in conservation that have not been addressed. It should not be assumed that scrutinizing these practices will necessarily lead to their cessation or reduce their social license (Hampton & Teh-White 2018). This would be to confuse our argument for scientific evaluation with advocacy opposing these practices (Treves et al. 2018). ...
... Indeed, if more information on animal welfare were available for these neglected issues, the data generated could inform ways to refine techniques to make them less harmful (O'Hara et al. 1999), as per the axiom one can only improve what one can measure. This would have the added benefit that evidence, and not supposition, could then be used to defend or oppose contentious practices (Hampton & Teh-White 2018). For example, animal-welfare studies have been employed during contentious feral camel (Camelus dromedarius) culling operations (Hampton et al. 2016b) to improve procedures and to ensure that societal expectations are met (Hampton & Teh-White 2018). ...
... This would have the added benefit that evidence, and not supposition, could then be used to defend or oppose contentious practices (Hampton & Teh-White 2018). For example, animal-welfare studies have been employed during contentious feral camel (Camelus dromedarius) culling operations (Hampton et al. 2016b) to improve procedures and to ensure that societal expectations are met (Hampton & Teh-White 2018). For the underaddressed issues we identified, the absence of such studies, and the suspicious cloak of secrecy associated with the gaps where this missing science should sit, may well threaten the future social license of these activities more than the data they would produce. ...
Article
Much progress has been made improving animal welfare in conservation over the past two decades. However, several glaring knowledge gaps remain where animal welfare concerns exist but animal welfare studies have not been performed in politically sensitive contexts. We use examples from Australia to identify four such issues lacking meaningful analysis; the absence of animal welfare oversight for operations designated as “management” (as opposed to research), the lack of consideration for the animal welfare impacts of biological agents that are used to control invasive animals, the paucity of studies to examine the welfare of animals that are hunted recreationally, and the scarcity of studies to examine the animal welfare impacts associated with Indigenous wildlife use. We suggest how animal welfare science may be applied to these sensitive topics and provide examples of studies that have effectively addressed animal welfare concerns in similarly contentious contexts. For discussions of animal welfare in conservation to be evidence‐based, courageous research is required in the four key areas of missing science that we have identified. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
... While the concept of SLO defies absolute definition [6], it has become an important focus for many natural resource management fields, including mining [7], energy production [8], fishing [9], and forestry [10]. There has traditionally been less awareness of its role in animal welfare, but there has been recent appreciation of its relevance to animal-based agriculture [11], wildlife use [12], animal racing [13], zoos [14], and hunting [15]. ...
... Combined with a highly urbanized, social-media-savvy population, Australia has consumers who, despite little first-hand knowledge of rural animal management practices [1], are generally well-informed. Animal welfare has become critical for the maintenance of SLO for animal-based industries [29] and poorly addressed concerns have led to the erosion of SLO for several practices [12]. Examples of such industries have spanned agriculture, animal racing, and wildlife use, and are discussed below. ...
... The traditional resistant approach to transparency amounts to telling the public "we have the highest animal welfare standards and processes, however all of our outcomes are secret". This approach relies on consumers missing the important difference between industries that say animal welfare is a priority and those that can demonstrate commitment to incremental improvements in the welfare of animals in their care [12]. ...
Article
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"Social license to operate" (SLO) refers to the implicit process by which a community gives an industry approval to conduct its current business activities. It has become an important focus for many natural resource management fields (especially mining), but there is less awareness of its role in animal use industries. This article describes how animal welfare has recently become arguably the most crucial consideration underpinning the SLO for Australian animal use industries. It describes several industries in Australia that have faced animal welfare scrutiny in the past decade (2010-2020) to illustrate how persistent issues can erode SLO, lead to regulatory bans, and decimate previously profitable industries. Industries described include the live export of livestock, greyhound and horse racing, kangaroo harvesting, and dairy and sheep farming. In these cases, there has been intense public discourse but little scholarly progress. This article examines factors that may have contributed to these developments and suggests approaches that may assist these industries in maintaining their SLO. Animal welfare has become a mainstream societal concern in Australia, and effective management of the community's expectations will be essential for the maintenance of SLO for many animal use industries.
... There are a wide range of ethical viewpoints held in global societies, from those who believe animals should have personhood rights and animal use industries should be abolished to those that think animals are not sentient and can be used however we wish (contractarian viewpoint) (Duncan, 2006;Francione & Garner, 2010;Phillips & Kluss, 2017;White, 2018). However, the view held by the majority of people in developed countries at least, the mainstream social ethic, is neither abolitionist nor contractarian: it is one of utilitarian welfare reform, seeking to increase the value of intrinsic animal welfare in some kind of balance with the benefits to humans (Singer, 1985;Rollin, 2004;Yerbury et al., 2017;Hampton & Teh-White, 2018;Johansson-Stenman, 2018). This balance is therefore nuanced and must be applied and evaluated with respect to each animal-use industry, since these differ in their impacts to animal welfare and the benefits or purpose to humans. ...
... Even some of those advocating for zoos seem to be against maintaining cetaceans in these collections (Kagan et al., 2018;Safina, 2018), despite there being no scientific evidence as to why cetaceans are less suited to captivity than any other specific zoo animals (Mason, 2021). There has also been a recent spate of countries banning the display or breeding of captive cetaceans, with no such action taken against other zoo species (Rose et al., 2017;Hampton & Teh-White, 2018;FUTURE PUBLIC DISPLAY OF CETACEANS | 10.1163/25889567-bja10023 Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research (2021) 1-39 Sykes, 2019). This is an indication of the degradation of the social licence that these organisations once held: governments believe the industry is not selfregulating in line with public expectations, and feels as if it has to step in to correct the imbalance (Rollin, 2004;Conley, 2009;Hampton et al., 2020). ...
... When an organisation's activities are not aligned with the mainstream social ethic, there may be three main possible outcomes: 1) the organisation does not change and is eventually forced to close, 2) public opinion changes and aligns with the organisation's ethics, or 3) the organisation changes its activities to align itself with public sentiment (Rollin, 2004;Hampton & Teh-White, 2018;Hampton et al., 2020). The evidence reviewed in this paper allows us to evaluate the likelihood of each these outcomes for captive cetacean facilities. ...
Article
In order to continue its business sustainably, any industry that uses animals must largely align their ethical position with that of the general public: ‘the mainstream social ethic’. Although zoos are transitioning from entertainment venues to conservation actors, many cetacean (whale and dolphin) facilities present the animals in unnatural-looking enclosures and entertainment-driven contexts. But what is the ‘mainstream social ethic’ regarding cetacean facilities, and what might it mean for the industry’s future? The evidence is first reviewed on cetacean welfare and the purported purposes for displaying cetaceans in the past and present. The mainstream social ethic is then defined, suggesting we may be at a crossroads for this industry. Welfare has improved in the last decades but could be further enhanced through providing more choice and control in cetaceans’ environments, particularly in enrichment, training and social groupings. Sanctuary settings provide a potential environment with more choice and control, but are still in the very initial stages of development. Fundamental, structural changes to the mission, presentation of the cetaceans and business model seem to be needed to realign the public display of cetaceans with the mainstream social ethic of the times.
... 6 The social licence to operate is unwritten, informal and unregulated (Duncan, Graham & McManus, 2018). Unlike mandatory statutory licences, the 'licence' is neither legal nor regulatory in nature but provides a metaphor for earning permission from the community within which the project is based -a type of 'community licence' (Cooney, 2017;Hampton & Teh-White, 2019). Another aspect is the community's ability to enforce the social licence informally, for example, through lobbying, activism or boycotts, thereby threatening potential loss of it where the company fails to conform to community expectations, including meeting its legal licences (Gunningham, Kagan & Thornton, 2004;Hampton & Teh-White, 2019). ...
... Unlike mandatory statutory licences, the 'licence' is neither legal nor regulatory in nature but provides a metaphor for earning permission from the community within which the project is based -a type of 'community licence' (Cooney, 2017;Hampton & Teh-White, 2019). Another aspect is the community's ability to enforce the social licence informally, for example, through lobbying, activism or boycotts, thereby threatening potential loss of it where the company fails to conform to community expectations, including meeting its legal licences (Gunningham, Kagan & Thornton, 2004;Hampton & Teh-White, 2019). A company that both gains and maintains a social licence tends to be transparent, has proactive stakeholder engagement (listening to and heeding the community, including opponents) and leads industry with compliance (even going 'beyond compliance'). ...
... Principally the licence was extended to resource industries like forestry, paper pulp and fishing(Edwards et al., 2019;Gunningham et al., 2004), and recently further applied to racing business and wildlife management(Duncan et al., 2018;Hampton & Teh-White, 2019). ...
... Public disquiet about animal welfare has grown over past decades. This changemuch of which is likely to enhance animals' quality of life-has been fuelled by a population that is increasingly urbanised [2,48] and that expects a more compassionate and ethicsbased approach to the welfare of animals used in recreation than was previously the case [49]. For animals, such as horses, that belong to a social species, this includes providing the opportunity to engage in bonding activities such as allogrooming with familiar conspecifics [50]. ...
... The evolution of the public's views on animal welfare is illustrated by the altered attitude regarding animal-use activities that were once deemed socially acceptable, includ-ing the use of animals in circuses, marine mammals in aquaria, caged animals in zoos, the hunting of wildlife, and dog fighting [3,16,48,49,51]. The rise in vegetarianism and veganism in many societies is also partially based on animal welfare concerns [52]. ...
... The threats to equestrianism's social licence are well recognised by those leading the sport [101,102]. This is a major step in the direction of positive change, since denial of the problem is a key contributor to the demise of an industry [48]. However, the strategies that equestrianism adopts to address concerns about the validity of its social licence are likely to dictate the future of the sport [100]. ...
Article
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The concept of ‘social licence to operate’ (SLO) is relevant to all animal-use activities. An SLO is an intangible, implicit agreement between the public and an industry/group. Its existence allows that industry/group to pursue its activities with minimal formalised restrictions because such activities have widespread societal approval. In contrast, the imposition of legal restrictions—or even an outright ban—reflect qualified or lack of public support for an activity. This review discusses current threats to equestrianism’s SLO and suggests actions that those across the equine sector need to take to justify the continuation of the SLO. The most important of these is earning the trust of all stakeholders, including the public. Trust requires transparency of operations, establishment and communication of shared values, and demonstration of competence. These attributes can only be gained by taking an ethics-based, proactive, progressive, and holistic approach to the protection of equine welfare. Animal-use activities that have faced challenges to their SLO have achieved variable success in re-establishing the approval of society, and equestrianism can learn from the experience of these groups as it maps its future. The associated effort and cost should be regarded as an investment in the future of the sport.
... The 'fandom' includes spectator-fans who collect, share, and comment utilizing digital sport resources but who are not sport fanatics, together with fans of horses who become outraged if it is perceived that their welfare is at risk [26,30]. Fans may be naïve about the intricacies of the sport and equine science, but enhanced by technology, this 'smart' global audience is responsive to horse welfare issues and questioning of trust in the organization, both of which may impact long-term business sustainability [27,31,32]. Ultimately, technology accelerates not only the access to crowdsourced knowledge and perceptions, but it impacts societal expectations. ...
... Ultimately, SLO can be most noticeable within an industry when it is absent [35], causing potential economic impact and the loss of trust, with the risk that political sanctions will follow [31,42]. Further, SLO has a focus on multiple single issues, creating the necessity for organizations to be flexible and adaptable in all aspects of engagement, communication and decision-making in light of the unstable public discourse [1,21,45,46]. ...
Article
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This review addresses the question of whether Thoroughbred horse racing is sustainable in the context of current social values. A recently acknowledged framework, known as ‘Social License to Operate’ (SLO), provides us with a lens through which to view and assess racehorse welfare. In multiple surveys of the general public, the horse owning public, and university students, the primary topics of concern regarding Thoroughbred racing show considerable concordance: concern about catastrophic injuries—particularly as related to track surfaces, concern over the racing of two-year-olds, whip use by jockeys, drug/medication policies, and aftercare opportunities for retired Thoroughbred racehorses. Legitimacy of an industry, consent from industry stakeholders, and trust between the community players, are all essential to have and maintain SLO. In the current era of 24/7 global media access, and the proliferation of social media providing an interactive platform for all interested parties, a dramatic change has occurred in commentary related to racehorse welfare concerns. The situation at Santa Anita (California, USA) from late December 2018 through mid-November 2019 demonstrated just how tenuous the SLO for horse racing is. This article will provide a brief review of what ‘Social License to Operate’ is, along with a brief literature review of five of the areas of primary concern voiced by stakeholders.
... Social license is the community support and consent for a business, or agency, to operate. In order to maintain the support of the public, wildlife management agencies need to understand the values that people have for wildlife and uphold expectations that people have for management (Hampton & Teh-White, 2019). ...
... ). In order to maintain and or increase support of the public, wildlife management agencies need to understand the values that people have towards wildlife and uphold expectations that people have about management(Hampton & Teh-White, 2019). Maintaining social license can support management by bolstering support for the agency regardless of specific management strategies(Gunningham, Kagan, & Thornton, 2004).Preliminary data gathered on values towards moose and perceptions of moose-winter tick interactions in Maine suggests that stakeholders, namely hunters, moose hunting outfitters, and Wabanaki citizens, see moose hunting as part of Maine culture, tourism, and a form of sustenance and cultural significance for Wabanaki peoples in Maine(DiMatteo-LePape, 2019;Elliott, 2019). ...
Article
Maine is a New England state with rich ecosystems and diverse opportunities for enjoying the outdoors. Maine is well known as a popular nature-based tourist destination, and is often associated with its notable moose population. Social-ecological systems in Maine are highly intertwined, and as such, are especially susceptible to impacts resulting from climate change. Moose health in the state is already being negatively impacted by climate change with high infestation rates of winter tick resulting in declining moose health and high moose calf mortality. Given that late winter is a time of high stress and increased mortality of moose due to low resource availability, high energy use, and higher winter tick infestation; understanding winter habitat selection of moose in the context of changing winter weather conditions will be essential in determining how climate change will impact moose landscape use in Maine. Wildlife management is a key mechanism in moderating the relationship between people and wildlife, addressing wildlife diseases and parasites, and maintaining wildlife habitat. Moose management in Maine is essential for maintaining a healthy moose population, providing moose hunting and viewing opportunities, and reducing moose-vehicle collisions. Moose management in Maine is conducted by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) and the Wabanaki tribes; policy and management decisions can be guided by stakeholder perceptions and attitudes toward management strategies since part of managing wildlife is meeting the needs and desires of people. This thesis explores the human-moose social-ecological system in Maine with a transdisciplinary approach, and employs a participatory approach to understand the effects of climate change on a social-ecological system to develop related solutions in a tourism dependent community. The aim of this research is to better understand moose landscape use in the context of changing winters, as well as perceptions and support of management strategies addressing moose parasitism in Maine. This thesis has three components: (1) characterization of winter habitat of adult moose; (2) survey of outdoor recreationists; and (3) participatory climate change planning. First, we identified winter habitat selection of adult female moose over the course of six years to explore the potential influence of winter weather and forest composition on moose landscape use. We found that moose selected forested areas to a greater extent than other land cover classes and selected all forest types, deciduous, evergreen, and mixed, equally. We found no influence of snow depth on these mature forest types; however, our results demonstrated increased selection of regenerating forests in years with lower snow density. These results have implications for moose distribution on the winter landscape, and impacts on regenerating forests in Maine and winter weather conditions continue to vary because of climate change. Second, we conducted a survey of moose hunters (in-state and out-of-state) and Maine recreationists to better understand perceptions of moose health, attitudes towards various management strategies, and confidence in MDIFW management efforts. We explored if differences between moose hunters, non-moose hunters, and non-hunters existed in terms of perceptions of moose health in Maine as well as their potential support of specific moose management strategies. We found that beliefs about moose health in Maine were largely moderate, and there was no difference in concerns about moose and winter tick parasitism among groups. Moose hunting was seen as an important part of managing a healthy moose population among all groups. Moose hunters were found to be the most comfortable with increasing moose hunting to reduce parasitism, followed by non-moose hunters. There was no statistically significant difference between groups regarding whether increasing moose hunting to reduce parasitism would have a strong positive or strong negative impact on moose population health. Intention to support moose hunting as a management strategy was neutral with no difference among groups. Confidence in agency management was statistically different between non-hunters and moose hunters, and between non-hunters and non-moose hunters. Self-reported feelings of being up to date on information regarding current moose population health and management was different among all groups, with moose hunters reporting being the most up to date. Further, understanding the impacts and perceptions of climate change needs to be paired with action in order to adapt to changes and promote resilient social-ecological systems. The final research component of this thesis was the joint development and implementation of a series of participatory planning workshops on community climate change adaptation and mitigation. The participatory process used reinforced the idea that collaborative planning and stakeholder driven solution development are key to identifying locally relevant priorities and feasible action steps. There are many social-ecological systems in Maine that are vulnerable to climate change, including the human-moose system; hence, interdisciplinary approaches that integrate biophysical and social science research efforts are essential to addressing impacts to these complex systems into the future.
... There is growing awareness of the relationship between perceptions of animal welfare and community support (social license) in conservation (Hampton & Teh-White 2019). The terms "humane" and "inhumane" can be used arbitrarily or politically to justify some wildlife practices, or condemn others, without requiring the benefit of scientific evidence. ...
... In that situation, opponents may take advantage of the binary to argue that the practice in question is in fact inhumane (not optimal) and that initial assertions that it was humane were deceptive. This development occurred with aerial shooting of feral horses in Australia (Chapple 2005), whereby observation of a single animal that was not fatally wounded brought into the question the managing agency's claims of humaneness (Bryan 2001) and lead to a decades-long ban on the practice (loss of social license) (Hampton & Teh-White 2019). ...
Article
Animal welfare is increasingly important in our understanding of how human activity affects wildlife, but the conservation community is still grappling with meaningful terminology when communicating this aspect of their work. One example is the use of the terms 'humane' and 'inhumane'. These terms are used in scientific contexts but also have legal and social definitions. Without reference to a defined technical standard, describing an action or outcome as humane (or inhumane) constrains science communication because: (i) the terms have variable definitions; (ii) they establish a binary (something is either humane or inhumane); and (iii) they imply underlying values reflecting a moral prescription. Invoking the term humane, and especially the strong antithesis inhumane, can infer a normative judgment of how animals ought to be treated (humane) or ought not to be treated (inhumane). The consequences of applying this terminology are not only academic. Publicizing certain practices as humane can create blurred lines around contentious animal welfare questions and, perhaps intentionally, defer scrutiny of actual welfare outcomes. Labeling other practices as inhumane can be used cynically to erode their public support. We suggest that, if this normative language is used in science, it should always be accompanied by a clear, contextual definition of what is meant by humane. Article impact statement: The concept of conservation practices being either humane or inhumane is normative, misleading, and outdated. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... The use of wildlife for scientific laboratory research [2], the wildlife trade for meat [3], Chinese medicine [4], lethal control of invasive species [5], captive breeding of wildlife [6], and farming for fur are now deeply contentious and the preeminent role of science is being called into question in a world where 'feelings' may matter as much as 'facts' [7]. As emphasized by Hampton [8], arguments that arouse compassion can often trump scientific knowledge, with policy and management increasingly being pushed on to a more subjective footing. ...
... In the second part, we designed a series of questions to analyze beliefs and attitudes towards the theory of SWM and wildlife conservation with topics covered ranging from animal welfare [9], captive breeding of wildlife [22], wildlife release [16], and vegetarianism [23]. We adapted Fulton's (1996) attitudes scales [24][25][26][27], using 20 questions from both forward (questions 4,5,6,8,9,12,13,16,19,20) and reverse (questions 1, 2, 3, 7, 10,11,14,15,17,18) angles. For analysis, we grouped the 20 questions into seven main categories of contemporary relevance to the SWM debate: Before the official survey, we conducted a preliminary survey in Harbin in October 2018 and analyzed the validity and reliability of the questionnaire. ...
Article
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Wildlife conservation and management has become a very complex public policy issue in China as concerns over on animal welfare and empathy for animals have grown. Science-based conservation strategies that are oriented toward sustainable wildlife management (SWM) are under threat as these new attitudes and values emerge and take hold. This study accesses the attitudes of college students towards SWM and wildlife conservation, and investigates demographic characteristics influencing their attitudes in China, a country that is traditionally associated with consumptive use of wildlife and SWM, but where new ideas about wildlife conservation are emerging. From October 2018 to April 2019, nine universities (including "Double First-Class" universities, first-tier universities, second-tier universities), and four three-year colleges in China were selected as survey locations, and face-to-face interviews were conducted with 1991 students. A total of 1977 questionnaires were recovered, of which 1739 were valid, with a completion rate of 88%. A Likert seven-point scale method was used to score students' attitudes, and a classification and regression tree (CART) was used to analyze whether their attitudes were affected by their demographic characteristics. The results show that although students are broadly supportive of the theory of SWM, some are deeply antagonistic about on SWM on issues that arouse strong emotions such as "Animal Welfare and Rights" and "Trophy Hunting". Demographic characteristics of students affect their degree of support for the SWM with support for SWM lower among vegetarians, freshmen, and students who have taken environmental protection electives. This research suggests that the theory of SWM requires to be refreshed and adapted to appeal to the younger generation of Chinese students, with SWM principles integrated into the environmental education programs of universities and three-year colleges. More attention should also be attached to media publicity by the government about wildlife conservation so as to enhance awareness of the need for SWM.
... Given that the public can respond to impacts imposed by resource exploitation, so-called stakeholders can exert powerful agency; social and political processes they initiate and shape can exert significant influence on regulators (Freeman 1984;Wilburn & Wilburn 2011). Here we build on work at the intersection of SLO, conservation, and animal use (Kendal & Ford 2017;Hampton & Teh-White 2018) to show that the SLO framework can provide a useful model for understanding the public's ability to influence the social license granted to hunters. We refer to the concept as social license to hunt (SLH). ...
... Further conflict relates to the loss of individuals within wildlife populations valued for their cultural importance and recognized interrelatedness with humans (e.g., Bhattacharyya & Slocombe 2017;Artelle et al. 2018a). Additional opposition arises from concerns over animal welfare (Hampton & Teh-White 2018). ...
Article
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The social license to operate framework considers how society grants or withholds informal permission for resource extractors to exploit publicly owned resources. We developed a modified model, which we refer to as the social license to hunt (SLH). In it we similarly consider hunters as operators, given that wildlife are legally considered public resources in North America and Europe. We applied the SLH model to examine the controversial hunting of large carnivores, which are frequently killed for trophies. Killing for trophies is widespread, but undertaken by a minority of hunters, and can pose threats to the SLH for trophy-seeking carnivore hunters and potentially beyond. Societal opposition to large carnivore hunting relates not only to conservation concerns but also to misalignment between killing for trophies and dominant public values and attitudes concerning the treatment of animals. We summarized cases related to the killing of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos), wolves (Canis lupus), and other large carnivores in Canada, the United States, and Europe to illustrate how opposition to large carnivore hunting, now expressed primarily on social media, can exert rapid and significant pressure on policy makers and politicians. Evidence of the potential for transformative change to wildlife management and conservation includes proposed and realized changes to legislation, business practice, and wildlife policy, including the banning of some large carnivore hunts. Given that policy is ultimately shaped by societal values and attitudes, research gaps include developing increased insight into public support of various hunting policies beyond that derived from monitoring of social media and public polling. Informed by increased evidence, the SLH model can provide a conceptual foundation for predicting the likelihood of transient versus enduring changes to wildlife conservation policy and practice for a wide variety of taxa and contexts.
... A greater understanding of their utility as wildlife management tools would benefit from further demonstrations of their efficacy, advantages and disadvantages in different contexts, including explicit empirical assessment of their animal welfare impacts on prey. This information will play an increasingly important role in the future social license of using guardian animals specifically and rewilding with large carnivores more generally (Hampton and Teh-White, 2019). ...
Article
Introducing consumptive and non-consumptive effects into food webs can have profound effects on individuals, populations and communities. This knowledge has led to the deliberate use of predation and/or fear of predation as an emerging technique for controlling wildlife. Many now advocate for the intentional use of large carnivores and livestock guardian dogs as more desirable alternatives to traditional wildlife control approaches like fencing, shooting, trapping, or poisoning. However, there has been very little consideration of the animal welfare implications of deliberately using predation as a wildlife management tool. We assess the animal welfare impacts of using dingoes, leopards and guardian dogs as biocontrol tools against wildlife in Australia and South Africa following the 'Five Domains' model commonly used to assess other wildlife management tools. Application of this model indicates that large carnivores and guardian dogs cause considerable lethal and non-lethal animal welfare impacts to the individual animals they are intended to control. These impacts are likely similar across different predator-prey systems, but are dependent on specific predator-prey combinations; combinations that result in short chases and quick kills will be rated as less harmful than those that result in long chases and protracted kills. Moreover, these impacts are typically rated greater than those caused by traditional wildlife control techniques. The intentional lethal and non-lethal harms caused by large carnivores and guardian dogs should not be ignored or dismissively assumed to be negligible. A greater understanding of the impacts they impose would benefit from empirical studies of the animal welfare outcomes arising from their use in different contexts.
... A greater understanding of their utility as wildlife management tools would benefit from further demonstrations of their efficacy, advantages and disadvantages in different contexts, including explicit empirical assessment of their animal welfare impacts on prey. This information will play an increasingly important role in the future social license of using guardian animals specifically and rewilding with large carnivores more generally (Hampton and Teh-White, 2019). ...
Conference Paper
Introducing consumptive and non-consumptive effects into food webs can have profound effects on individuals, populations and communities. Consequently, the deliberate use of predation and/or fear of predation is an emerging technique for controlling wildlife. Many now advocate for the intentional use of large carnivores and livestock guardian dogs as more desirable alternatives to traditional wildlife control approaches like fencing, shooting or trapping. However, there has been little consideration of the animal welfare implications of deliberately using predation as a wildlife management tool. We assess the animal welfare impacts of using dingoes, leopards and guardian dogs as biocontrol tools against wildlife in Australia and South Africa following the ‘Five Domains’ model commonly used to assess other wildlife management tools. Application of this model indicates that large carnivores and guardian dogs cause considerable lethal and non-lethal animal welfare impacts to the animals they are intended to control. These impacts are likely similar across different predator-prey systems, but are dependent on specific predator-prey combinations; combinations that result in short chases and quick kills will be rated as less harmful than those that result in long chases and protracted kills. Moreover, these impacts are typically rated greater than those caused by traditional wildlife control techniques. The intentional lethal and non-lethal harms caused by large carnivores and guardian dogs should not be ignored or assumed to be negligible. A greater understanding of the impacts they impose would benefit from empirical studies of the animal welfare outcomes arising from their use in different contexts.
... Social Licence to Operate is generally thought of as the acceptance of a company or industry's practices by the general public (Futureye 2018;Hampton and Teh-White 2019). This concept is applicable to animal industries, where animal housing and husbandry practices are subject to public scrutiny. ...
Article
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The genetic selection of broilers over the past 60 years has focused narrowly and intensely on production traits, namely growth rate and feed efficiency. This has led to significant welfare problems in birds grown for meat, including leg disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and resulting high mortality rates, while the breeder birds are subjected to severe feed restriction. Bone problems such as bacterial chondronecrosis and tibia dyschondroplasia are prevalent, and recent studies have reported the prevalence of birds with moderate to severe gait impairment to be between 5.5 and 48.8%. Worldwide, over 66 billion broilers are slaughtered annually. This huge scale of meat chicken production means that welfare problems are widespread and are likely to increase in severity due to the increasing global human population, increasing demand for meat, and a continued focus on efficiency of production in the agricultural sector. The commercial broiler industry therefore represents some of the most serious animal welfare issues in agriculture. There is an urgent need to address these problems by making welfare traits high priorities in breeding programmes and integrating these with other breeding goals. Many studies recommend the use of slower-growing breeds that do not have the same welfare problems. Addressing these welfare issues is essential to improve bird welfare and for social acceptability and sustainability of the broiler industry worldwide.
... For example, poor welfare may reduce fitness and reproductive success, and thus alter population trajectories. In addition, the public are increasingly aware of, and concerned about wild animal welfare [3,13]. Therefore, having knowledge of the welfare status of individual wild animals may contribute information directly relevant to ethical, legal and political debates about the ways in which we interact with wild animals and their associated habitats [14]. ...
Article
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Knowledge of the welfare status of wild animals is vital for informing debates about the ways in which we interact with wild animals and their habitats. Currently, there is no published information about how to scientifically assess the welfare of free-roaming wild animals during their normal day-to-day lives. Using free-roaming horses as an example, we describe a ten-stage protocol for systematically and scientifically assessing the welfare of individual non-captive wild animals. The protocol starts by emphasising the importance of readers having an understanding of animal welfare in a conservation context and also of the Five Domains Model for assessing welfare. It goes on to detail what species-specific information is required to assess welfare, how to identify measurable and observable indicators of animals’ physical states and how to identify which individuals are being assessed. Further, it addresses how to select appropriate methods for measuring/observing physical indicators of welfare, the scientific validation of these indicators and then the grading of animals’ welfare states, along with assigning a confidence score. Finally, grading future welfare risks and how these can guide management decisions is discussed. Applying this ten-stage protocol will enable biologists to scientifically assess the welfare of wild animals and should lead to significant advances in the field of wild animal welfare.
... Morris, 2020;Sekar & Shiller, 2020) and public outrage (e.g. Hampton & Teh-White, 2019) in the negative consequences of the practice. ...
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1. Ethical concerns are at the heart of the ongoing debate on trophy hunting; however, so far, most studies have addressed the issue from a single ethical perspective. These studies, approaching the subject from different ethical perspectives, have reached different conclusions. For instance, those who support trophy hunting as a conservation strategy usually adopt a utilitarian perspective, while those who adopt a deontological perspective usually oppose it. 2. The analysis presented in this paper challenges the ethical justification of trophy hunting based on a utilitarian perspective, and it also suggests that trophy hunting is problematic from the perspectives of both deontology and virtue theory. 3. This paper supports a version of Bryan Norton's ‘convergence hypothesis’ (Norton, 1991). Although holism and anthropocentrism in environmental ethics are usually presented as fundamentally opposed views, Norton argued that their conclusions for policy converge, at least when a sufficiently broad and long-range view of human interests are considered. 4. Analogously, this paper proposes that, regarding trophy hunting, the implications of three major traditional perspectives in ethics (i.e. utilitarianism, deontology and virtue theory) may converge in opposition to the practice of trophy hunting. 5. The final section of this paper recommends some ways authorities and policymakers can address these ethical concerns and presents a view of the future.
... A deeper understanding of human perceptions towards cetacean strandings is important to effectively manage strandings response, including implementing appropriate procedures such as rescue attempts and euthanasia [47]. Furthermore, assessment of public perceptions can provide an indication as to whether management agencies and scientists are successfully communicating animal welfare concerns and the appropriate measures to mitigate these [26,68]. ...
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Cetacean strandings often elicit significant media attention and public engagement. However, how human perceptions of such events may influence decision-making during strandings response is poorly understood. To address this, we undertook an online questionnaire targeting stranding relevant/interested parties in New Zealand, Aotearoa to understand perceptions around stranding events and response. Participants responded to questions and statements using the 5-point Likert scale to explore human perceptions and expectations of intervention, decision-making, animal welfare and survival prognosis during strandings. Responses were analysed based on level of experience and role at stranding events using descriptive and multivariate statistics. A total of 268 respondents completed the questionnaire; most stated that human intervention is necessary to assist animals during strandings. However, 43% of respondents indicated that they did not know what affect intervention may have on the animals. Notably, participants felt that human intervention was more likely to improve survival (26%) than welfare (19%). Importantly, experienced responders appeared more welfare complacent, prioritising survival for strandings response decision-making. Respondents from the legislative agency responsible for strandings in New Zealand, indicated that public sentiment may take precedence over welfare considerations when considering euthanasia. Our results highlight a disjunct between perceptions of welfare and survival, despite these variables being inextricably linked. This may be cause for concern in highly publicised strandings events where management decisions are more likely influenced by public sentiment. Comprehensive animal assessments that are informed both by animal welfare and survival prognoses are required to ensure the best outcomes for stranded cetaceans.
... Trapping, like all human activities, is contingent upon there being a personal or societal desire, value, or need for doing so, and a sociopolitical willingness to allow it (Hampton and Teh-White 2018). In addition, where trapping is to be considered in the context of some wildlife management, conservation, or research goal, potential alternatives and effectiveness of each need to be considered. ...
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Humans have used wild furbearers for various purposes for thousands of years. Today, furbearers are sustainably used by the public for their pelts, leather, bones, glands, meat, or other purposes. In North America, contemporary harvest of furbearers has evolved along with trap technologies and societal concerns, and is now highly regulated and more closely coupled with harvest analysis and population monitoring. Traps and regulated trapping programs provide personal or cultural rewards that can also support conservation, and can assist with advancing ecological knowledge through research, protecting endangered species, restoring populations or habitats, protecting personal property, and enhancing public health and safety. However, animal welfare and trap selectivity remain important topics for furbearer management in North America, as they have for more than a century. A related international challenge to modern furbearer management came with the Wild Fur Regulation by the European Union, which passed in 1991. This regulation prohibited use of foothold traps in many European countries and the importation of furs and manufactured fur products to Europe from countries that allowed use of foothold traps or trapping methods that did not meet internationally agreed-upon humane trapping standards. To address existing national concerns and requirements of the Wild Fur Regulation, the United States and European Union signed a non-binding bilateral understanding that included a commitment by the United States to evaluate trap performance and advance the use of improved traps through development of best management practices (BMPs) for trapping. Our testing followed internationally accepted restraining-trap standards for quantifying injuries and capture efficiency, and we established BMP pass-fail thresholds for these metrics. We also quantified furbearer selectivity, and qualitatively assessed practicality and user safety for each trap, yielding overall species-specific performance profiles for individual trap models. We present performance data for 84 models of restraining traps (6 cage traps, 68 foothold traps, 9 foot-encapsulating traps, and 1 power-activated footsnare) on 19 furbearing species, or 231 trap-species combinations. We conducted post-mortem examinations on 8,566 furbearers captured by trappers. Of the 231 trap model-species combinations tested, we had sufficient data to evaluate 173 combinations, of which about 59% met all BMP criteria. Pooling species, cage traps produced the lowest average injury score (common injuries included tooth breakage), with minimal differences across other trap types; species-specific patterns
... In response, scholars have argued that companies should take an active approach by enabling transparent, easily accessible, and reliable information about a wide range of (potential) impacts as a basis for engagement [43,45]. Moreover, this knowledge base needs to be sufficiently diverse to align with the diverse worldviews and perspectives of stakeholders [45][46][47]. A co-production strategy that considers a broad range of stakeholders as active contributors to and co-producers of credible and relevant knowledge for assessing risks and importantly, for co-designing operations, is seen as promising for a fair and informed assessment of the legitimacy of extractive operations [20,48]. ...
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The Social Licence to Operate (SLO) has emerged as a leading concept to assess the legitimacy of extractive operations. This article examines recent SLO literature to discuss how the SLO is conceptualized and enacted. Our discussion focuses on three main themes: (1) who are considered to be relevant stakeholders; (2) the ways in which these stakeholders are engaged; and (3) how social and environmental impacts of extractive operations are considered. Our analysis points to a tendency in literature to focus on local stakeholders and a failure to consider wider sustainability implications. On the basis of these findings we argue that the evaluation of extractive operations must be based on a comprehensive concept of legitimacy that not only seeks the approval of local stakeholders but also recognises the importance of open-ended political deliberation that addresses global norms of social and environmental sustainability and includes diverse values, needs and interests.
... The species is considered 'Data Deficient' (Reeves et al., 2017), notwithstanding that some populations are listed as endangered and one of those is ironically placed in this position due to extractions from wild populations for display in aquariums (Pollard, 2014 66 orca in captivity provides no conservation benefit and have therefore prohibited it. In the USA, SeaWorld voluntarily agreed to stop its practice of breeding orca (including artificial insemination), after accepting society's growing distaste for this practice (Hampton and Teh-White, 2019). SeaWorld, which held the largest collection of orca in the world, announced this historic action on the 17 th of March 2016, stating; ...
... With the rise in animal activism and ethical consumerism, industries that use animals for entertainment are becoming increasingly scrutinised by the general public [1]. Animals play a significant role in the production of film and television [2,3], and thus these industries are at risk of losing their "social license to operate" (SLO) if they fail to demonstrate their commitment to safeguarding animal welfare [4,5]. Animals are used in different types of filmed media including movies, television series, theatre, commercials, promotional work, corporate training videos, photography, and music videos. ...
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Animals play a significant role in the production of film and television in Australia and globally. Given this, regulating and monitoring their welfare on- and off-set is imperative. We therefore aim to compare Australia’s state and territory-based legislation and regulation to those in the United States and the United Kingdom and assess regulations against the Five Domains Model of animal welfare. Historical examples of animal incidents in Australian film are used to illustrate potential deficiencies. We reviewed archived media for animal welfare incidents on and off production sets. We demonstrate a lack of uniformity, with 37.5% (3/8) of states and territories providing targeted Codes of Practice for animals in filmed media, and partially addressing behavioural interactions or mental state within the Five Domains Model. Three themes of welfare concerns were identified including incidents on-set, incidents off-set, and effects of portrayal on perception or ownership of specific species. This highlights the need for standardised national legislation and improved monitoring and regulation. Further research should quantify the number of animals used in productions, describe the type and duration of the work the animals undertake, investigate the frequency of animal welfare incidents, and explore alternative methods to the use of live animals in film and television.
... Maintaining horse welfare is an important aspect to any management activity because it is stipulated by US law, has been the impetus for litigation, and influences human emotional responses to horse management (Scasta et al. 2018;Scasta 2019). More broadly, animal welfare influences public acceptability of management methods and determines whether these methods are socially accepted or discontinued (Dubois et al. 2017;Hampton and Teh-White 2019). Debates about what constitutes humaneness in any context exist , with debates about the humane treatment of horses being particularly acrimonious (Scasta et al. 2018;Scasta 2019). ...
Article
ContextMustering (gathering) feral horses (Equus ferus caballus) often cause mortalities, yet cause-specific details are lacking. AimsGiven the need to optimise horse welfare, we analysed public horse muster data from the USA to understand specific causes of mortalities. Methods We coded 393 individual horse mortality reports for 92 cause-specific mortality terms (keywords informing the deciphering of specific causes of mortality classified as anatomical, causal or conditional) and demographic details (age, sex, and body condition). Data were derived from 50 musters across seven states with at least one horse mortality. Musters were coded for type (helicopter or bait), emergency or regular planned efforts, and number of horses mustered and shipped daily. Key ResultsMore horses were euthanased than died naturally (330 (84.0%) and 39 (9.9%) respectively), and more horses had chronic than acute conditions (317 (80.7%) and 76 (19.3%) respectively), with both trends holding for both sexes and across ages. Body condition scores (BCS) for female horses were skewed low, whereas male horse BCS data were more normally distributed. Female horses had lower BCS than did male horses (P < 0.001). On average, each horse mortality had two cause-specific mortality terms, ranging from 1 to 7. Only 57 horses (14.5%) had terms describing anatomy, cause and condition, concurrently. Phi coefficients (φ; indicators of fidelity and constancy) for cause-specific terms were related to demographic or muster attributes and were analysed with post hoc ANOVA tests of estimated marginal means to allow for ranking. Female horses were most often described as emaciated, weak, and starving, whereas male horses were described as lame, arthritic, blind or dangerous. Bait trapping and emergency musters included horses that were starving, dehydrated and weak. Conclusions Generally, disorders associated with legs and feet, eyes, necks and nutrition were the most prevalent cause-specific mortality issues. Using a machine learning approach, validation and test accuracy were high for predicting euthanasia versus natural mortalities, but low for predicting acute versus chronic mortalities. Individual horse demographics or daily muster features had a greater relative influence than did capture type or emergency status in both comparisons. ImplicationsThese results provide practical insight for potential cause-specific mortalities relative to demographics and muster techniques.
... This is likely to be important because misperceptions or misunderstandings about the nature of animal research can have broader implications for zoos and policy. Social license to operate is the idea that many industries, including those involving wildlife, exist within the context of social approval or license to operate (Hampton & Teh-white, 2019). It is important to maintain this trust with the general public and clearly portray an accurate view of animal research rather than one based on misinformation. ...
Article
Zoos average about 183 million visitors per year, which makes them a major source for educating the public due to the diverse and wide-ranging demographic that visit. Zoos are increasingly a source of scientific research in a variety of subfields, including animal cognition, although much of this research takes place behind the scenes. Bringing this research to the public perspective has the potential to increase engagement of zoo visitors. However, it is not always possible to show live research, but videos have been found to be an effective educational approach in other domains. Here, we presented a brief video illustrating cognitive research involving sun bears at Zoo Atlanta to determine the potential effect on visitors. We measured several aspects of visitor behavior (stay time and actual behaviors in the exhibit), attitudes (towards both animal research and educational technology), and knowledge gained at the exhibit. We also presented a control video that focused on sun bear enrichment to tease out whether potential effects on visitors were related to the research focus of the video, or merely an effect of a video playing in the exhibit space. Visitor behavior, attitudes, and knowledge were determined by observing a randomly selected visitor’s behavior throughout their time in the exhibit space, and then requesting completion of a survey when they exited the exhibit (N = 148). We compared various aspects of behavior, attitudes, and knowledge across the Scientific Video, Enrichment Video, and No Video conditions. There were no differences between the Scientific Video and the Enrichment Video conditions; however, some differences were found between visitors who experienced a video during their visit (scientific or enrichment video) versus those who did not. Attitudes towards technology in the exhibit space were generally positive. There was also a significant correlation between visitor stay time (overall time spent in the exhibit space) and knowledge gained. Visitors learning about research in zoos remains important, but it is unclear if a video is a sufficient means to share that information.
... To ensure that animal welfare is a high priority at stranding events, it is critical for decision-makers to have clear, objective, scientifically based criteria to inform end-of-life decisions and that these are transparently communicated with all stakeholders. Ideally such criteria should be publicly socialised prior to stranding incidents so that when high profile species strand, the public are aware that individual animal welfare concerns should be the focus of management options [5,40,41]. ...
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Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are tools used to ensure management best practice during emergency incidents including wildlife interventions, such as cetacean strandings. The compromised state of stranded cetaceans means humane end-of-life decisions may be considered, and SOPs frequently guide this process. This study evaluated SOPs for end-of-life decision-making and technically enacting euthanasia of stranded cetaceans across Australasia. The aim was to highlight similarities and differences in management and explore directions to improve stranded cetacean welfare. SOPs were requested from the eight government authorities across Australia and New Zealand. All SOPs were evaluated for decision-making criteria, yielding 29 parameters for the implementation of end-of-life decisions. Euthanasia and palliative care were options for end-of-life, with palliative care recommended when euthanasia was not feasible or presented human safety risks. Three euthanasia methods were recommended. Ballistics was recommended in seven SOPs, chemicals in five and explosives in three SOPs. Variability existed in the exact procedures and equipment recommended in all three methods. Additionally, only five SOPs provided criteria for verifying death, while only two recommended time-to-death be recorded, hindering evaluation of the welfare impacts of end-of-life decisions and euthanasia procedures. Our findings highlight the need for detailed guidance and consistency in end-of-life decisions and euthanasia techniques to ensure reliable welfare outcomes. Systematic, standardised data collection at euthanasia events across regions is required to facilitate assessment of welfare impacts and develop evidence-based recommendations. International collaboration is key to developing objective criteria necessary to ensure consistent guidance for end-of-life decisions.
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Several important techniques for managing wildlife rely on ballistics (the behaviour of projectiles), including killing techniques (shooting) as well as capture and marking methods (darting). Because all ballistic techniques have the capacity to harm animals, animal welfare is an important consideration. Standardised testing approaches that have allowed refinement for other physical killing and capture methods (e.g. traps for mammals) have not been applied broadly to ballistic methods. At the same time, new technology is becoming available for shooting (e.g. subsonic and lead-free ammunition) and darting (e.g. dye-marker darts). We present several case studies demonstrating (a) how basic ballistic testing can be performed for novel firearms and/or projectiles, (b) the benefits of identifying methods producing undesirable results before operational use, and (c) the welfare risks associated with bypassing testing of a technique before broad-scale application. Following the approach that has been used internationally to test kill-traps, we suggest the following four-step testing process: (1) range and field testing to confirm accuracy and precision, the delivery of appropriate kinetic energy levels and projectile behaviour, (2) post-mortem assessment of ballistic injury in cadavers, (3) small-scale live animal pilot studies with predetermined threshold pass/fail levels, and (4) broad-scale use with reporting of the frequency of adverse animal welfare outcomes. We present this as a practical approach for maintaining and improving animal welfare standards when considering the use of ballistic technology for wildlife management.
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People hunt and kill animals for sport in many parts of the world. This raises many issues, some of which were brought to the fore when a lion Panthera leo, nicknamed Cecil, was killed by a trophy hunter in Zimbabwe in 2015. Cecil's death led to an unprecedented public reaction in Europe and the USA, and a debate in which opponents and supporters of sport hunting advanced different types of argument based on, inter alia, conservation, animal welfare and economics. The reaction to the Cecil event provides a perspective for scrutinizing sport hunting more widely. In this article we explore parallels between lion trophy hunting in Africa (which can involve either wild or captive‐bred lions) and shooting of common pheasant Phasianus colchicus, a sport which is largely sustained in the UK by the annual release of over 40 million captive‐bred birds. These two forms of sport hunting share common themes that are likely to be influential for the future of sport hunting more widely. These include the extent to which sport hunting maintains land for wildlife, and the impacts of intensification (e.g. the extent to which quarry are reared and released). Concern for the welfare of quarry animals is a dominant theme in debates about hunting. These themes are likely to be relevant for the conservation of many species hunted for sport. Increasing distaste for the killing of animals for sport in many countries may lead to the end of some types of sport hunting, with implications for both habitat and wildlife conservation. It would be both prudent and appropriate for conservationists to increase the urgency with which they seek alternative methods for preventing loss of biodiverse land to other uses. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article.
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The welfare of farm animals is increasingly of concern to meat producers as well as consumers and the broader community; however these groups conceptualize animal welfare in different ways, which is likely to present a barrier to effective communication and resolution of conflicts between these groups particularly as livestock producers face increasing scrutiny by community members. Since most research to date on producer understandings of animal welfare has been based in Europe and North America, we used qualitative methods to examine producers’ understandings of animal welfare in the red-meat (beef and sheep-meat) sectors in Australia. Through the use of interviews, we found that Australian producers linked “good welfare” with productivity and profitability and were willing to adopt new practices to improve animal welfare. Producers were concerned about negative public perceptions of their industry and suggested that education was needed to correct misinformation about the industry. Australian producers place significant emphasis on the relationship between climatic conditions and farm animal welfare, often describing their attempts to do the best they can in periods of adverse weather, a significant finding as awareness of climate change and its effects continues to increase. Our findings contribute to a broader effort to identify shared values between different stakeholder groups (i.e. producers, consumers, and the broader community) to highlight areas of commonality between these groups and provide more effective pathways for improving conversations about how to produce meat humanely and how animal welfare practices can continue to evolve and improve.
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Conservation practice is informed by science, but also reflects ethical beliefs about how we ought to value and interact with the Earth's biota. As human activities continue to drive extinctions and diminish critical life‐sustaining ecosystem processes, achieving conservation goals becomes increasingly urgent. In our determination to react decisively, conservation challenges can be handled without due deliberation, particularly when wildlife individuals are sacrificed “for the greater good” of wildlife collectives (populations, species, ecosystems). With growing recognition of the widespread sentience and sapience of many nonhuman animals, standard conservation practices that categorically prioritize collectives without due consideration for the wellbeing of individuals are ethically untenable. Here we highlight three overarching ethical orientations characterizing current and historical practices in conservation that suppress compassion: instrumentalism, collectivism, and nativism. We illustrate how establishing a commitment to compassion could re‐orient conservation in more ethically expansive directions, which incorporate recognition of the intrinsic value of wildlife, the sentience of nonhuman animals, and the values of novel ecosystems, introduced species and their members. A compassionate conservation approach allays practices that intentionally and unnecessarily harm wildlife individuals, while aligning with critical conservation goals. Although the urgency of achieving effective outcomes for solving major conservation problems may enhance the appeal of quick and harsh measures, the costs are too high. Continuing to justify moral indifference when causing the suffering of wildlife individuals, particularly those who possess sophisticated capacities for emotion, consciousness, and sociality, risks estranging conservation practice from prevailing, and appropriate, social values. As conservationists and compassionate beings, we must demonstrate concern for both the long‐term persistence of collectives and the wellbeing of individuals, prioritizing strategies that do both.
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Trophy hunting has occupied a prominent position in recent scholarly literature and popular media. In the scientific conservation literature, researchers are generally supportive of or sympathetic to its usage as a source of monetary support for conservation. Although authors at times acknowledge that trophy hunting faces strong opposition from many members of the public, often for unspecified reasons associated with ethics, neither the nature nor the implications of these ethical concerns have been substantively addressed. We identify the central act of wildlife “trophy” taking as a potential source of ethical discomfort and public opposition. We highlight that trophy hunting entails a hunter paying a fee to kill an animal and claim its body or body parts as a trophy of conquest. Situating this practice in a Western cultural narrative of chauvinism, colonialism, and anthropocentrism, we argue trophy hunting is morally inappropriate. We suggest alternative strategies for conservation and community development should be explored and decisively ruled out as viable sources of support before the conservation community endorses trophy hunting. If wildlife conservation is broadly and inescapably dependent on the institution of trophy hunting, conservationists should accept the practice only with a due appreciation of tragedy, and proper remorse. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
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Article impact statement: Recognition that conservation, like mining, needs a social license to operate can help avoid dangerous assumptions of approval.
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Much evidence demonstrates the adverse effects of lead ammunition on wildlife, their habitats and human health, and confirms that the use of such ammunition has no place within sustainable hunting. We identify the provisions that define sustainable hunting according to European law and international treaties, together with their guidance documents. We accept the substantial evidence for lead’s actual and potential effects on wildlife, habitats and health as persuasive and assess how these effects relate to stated provisions for sustainability and hunting. We evaluate how continued use of lead ammunition negatively affects international efforts to halt loss of biodiversity, sustain wildlife populations and conserve their habitats. We highlight the indiscriminate and avoidable health and welfare impacts for large numbers of exposed wild animals as ethically unsustainable. In societal terms, continued use of lead ammunition undermines public perceptions of hunting. Given the existence of acceptable, non-toxic alternatives for lead ammunition, we conclude that hunting with lead ammunition cannot be justified under established principles of public/international policy and is not sustainable. Changing from lead ammunition to non-toxic alternatives will bring significant nature conservation and human health gains, and from the hunter’s perspective will enhance societal acceptance of hunting. Change will create opportunities for improved constructive dialogue between hunting stakeholders and others engaged with enhancing biodiversity and nature conservation objectives.
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This article presents a conceptual framework that aims to encourage consumer animal-friendly product choice by introducing positioning strategies for animal-friendly products. These strategies reinforce the animal welfare with different types of consumption values and can therefore reduce consumers' social dilemma, which is a major barrier to animal-friendly consumer choices. The article suggests how animal-friendly products can use various types of consumption values (functional, sensory, emotional, social, epistemic and situational) to create an attractive position relative to their competitors. It also explains why some consumer segments, such as those with a specific thinking style, may experience a stronger effect of some strategies, giving directions on how to approach different types of consumers. Finally, building on research asserting that animal welfare is a credence product attribute, the article proposes moderating effects of two factors that help consumers to evaluate the credibility of animal welfare claims, namely corporate social responsibility strategy and the role of stakeholders. Here it concludes that companies selling animal-friendly products need to be aware of the impact of their overall strategy on the effectiveness of positioning strategies for individual products and that, to gain consumer trust, they may need to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, such as media or animal-interest organizations.
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Adaptive certification is the best remaining option for the trophy hunting industry in Africa to demonstrate sustainable and ethical hunting practices that benefit local communities and wildlife conservation.
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Why horse-racing in Australia needs a social licence to operate https://theconversation.com/why-horse-racing-in-australia-needs-a-social-licence-to-operate-79492
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Nonhuman animal welfare is an increasingly important component of consumer expectations of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The extent to which prominent animal welfare or protection organizations may influence people's perceptions of food industry CSR may be related to an organization's perceived social responsibility. Data from an online survey of 300 U.S. residents were used to explore relationships between demographics/lifestyle choices and perceptions of prominent animal welfare organizations (using best-worst scaling methodology). Overall, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was perceived to be the most socially responsible organization analyzed, followed by the Humane Society of the United States and the American Humane Association (AHA). Results suggest that the perceived social responsibility of animal protection organizations in this study was not strongly linked to personally (financially) supporting them, with 2 exceptions: the perceptions of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and AHA. Improved understanding of the perception of animal welfare or protection organizations can inform decision making by organizations interested in furthering animal welfare causes.
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Context Wolverines (Gulo gulo) are harvested for fur in northern Canada, but the impacts of harvest are poorly known. Additionally, wolverine population data are largely absent for much of their northern range. Demographic data collected from harvested wolverines provide information on the vulnerability and variability of different sex and age cohorts to harvest, which in turn, may have implications for harvest sustainability. Aims We examined the temporal variability of different sex and age cohorts in wolverine harvest among years, and within the harvest season, in Yukon, Canada. We also examined the pregnancy status of female wolverines in relation to the harvest date in order to evaluate the impact of the harvest season length on breeding wolverines. Methods We determined the sex and age composition of harvested wolverines via dissections of 655 carcasses collected from 2005 to 2014. We determined the reproductive status and fetal measurements for female wolverines via dissections of reproductive tracts. Key results The harvest consisted mostly of males, particularly young individuals. The sex ratio of harvested animals did not fluctuate significantly, but we observed variation in the age structure among years. The age structure varied within the harvest season (November to March), with a greater proportion of adults harvested in late winter. Active gestation was evident in females harvested after mid-January, and near-term or post-partum females were harvested during late February and March. Conclusions Late winter harvest is likely to have a more significant impact on populations than early winter harvest, due to increased harvest of adults and breeding females. Wolverine harvest season extends to the onset of the denning season in late February and March, indicating a concern for ethical harvest. Implications Limiting the wolverine harvest season to early winter may contribute to improved harvest sustainability and protection of breeding wolverines in northern latitudes.
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Over the last century, changing public attitudes about the value of wildlife have triggered substantial changes in species management that have both benefited and hindered conservation efforts. Understanding and integrating contemporary public values is therefore critical for effective conservation outcomes. Using historic and contemporary examples, we highlight how public attitudes—expressed through the media and cam-paigns—are shaping the management of introduced and native species, as values shift towards animal welfare and mutualism. We focus on the issue of deliberate human-caused killing of wildlife, because protests against such management have disrupted traditional political and management structures that favoured eradication of wildlife across many jurisdictions and ecological contexts. In doing so, we show that it is essential to work with multiple stakeholder interest groups to ensure that wildlife management is informed by science, while also supported by public values. Achieving this hinges on appropriate science communication to build a better-informed public because management decisions are becoming increasingly democratised.
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The killing of Cecil the lion ( Panthera leo ) ignited enduring and increasingly global discussion about trophy hunting [[1][1]]. Yet, policy debate about its benefits and costs (e.g. [[2][2],[3][3]]) focuses only on the hunted species and biodiversity, not the unique behaviour of hunters. Some
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The public’s concern for animal welfare is evolving and it is important to consider factors that are related to concern for animals and their use by humans. An online survey of 825 U.S. residents was conducted. Relationships between approval of animal uses and stated concern for animal welfare were examined. More than 90% of respondents reported that using animals for egg production, service or therapy, pets, and milk production was acceptable to them. Respondents who were younger or reported being female less frequently found most uses acceptable than older or male respondents. Half of respondents reported concern for the welfare of bison while 40% or more stated concern for the welfare of elk, beef cattle, and dairy cattle. Respondents who stated they were concerned for the welfare of dairy cattle less frequently reported accepting using animals for meat production, livestock shows, and hunting. Thus, self-reported concern for animal species and acceptance of the use of animals were related in some instances. A better understanding of the factors related to acceptance of animal uses and concern for animal welfare will help animal-related industries and wildlife agencies develop practices that are consistent with public attitudes.
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Human-wildlife conflicts are commonly addressed by excluding, relocating, or lethally controlling animals with the goal of preserving public health and safety, protecting property, or conserving other valued wildlife. However, declining wildlife populations, a lack of efficacy of control methods in achieving desired outcomes, and changes in how people value animals have triggered widespread acknowledgment of the need for ethical and evidence-based approaches to managing such conflicts. We explored international perspectives on and experiences with human-wildlife conflicts to develop principles for ethical wildlife control. A diverse panel of 20 experts convened at a 2-day workshop and developed the principles through a facilitated engagement process and discussion. They determined that efforts to control wildlife should begin wherever possible by altering the human practices that cause human-wildlife conflict and by developing a culture of coexistence; be justified by evidence that significant harms are being caused to people, property, livelihoods, ecosystems, and/or other animals; have measurable outcome-based objectives that are clear, achievable, monitored, and adaptive; predictably minimize animal welfare harms to the fewest number of animals; be informed by community values as well as scientific, technical, and practical information; be integrated into plans for systematic long-term management; and be based on the specifics of the situation rather than negative labels (pest, overabundant) applied to the target species. We recommend that these principles guide development of international, national, and local standards and control decisions and implementation.
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Increasing scrutiny on animal welfare in wildlife management has seen a recent proliferation in the use of procedural documents (standard operating procedures, codes of practice etc.). Some procedural documents are assumed to represent ‘best practice’ methods whereby adherence to prescribed inputs is explicitly purported to generate humane outcomes. However, the relationship between what is done to animals (inputs) and what they experience (outputs), as assessed by animal-based measures, has received little attention. Procedural documents are commonly developed in the absence of empirical animal-based measures, producing uncertainty in animal welfare outcomes. Prescribed procedures are valuable as guidelines for standardising methodology but the development of "€˜welfare standards"€™ that focus on desired thresholds for animal-based measures offers many advantages for improving animal welfare. Refinement of the use of procedural documents in wildlife management is required to ensure they generate desirable outcomes for animals, and do not preclude the development of improved methods.
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It is argued that trophy hunting of large, charismatic mammal species can have considerable conservation benefits but only if undertaken sustainably. Social-ecological theory suggests such sustainability only results from developing governance systems that balance financial and biological requirements. Here we use lion (Panthera leo) trophy hunting data from Tanzania to investigate how resource ownership patterns influence hunting revenue and offtake levels. Tanzania contains up to half of the global population of free-ranging lions and is also the main location for lion trophy hunting in Africa. However, there are concerns that current hunting levels are unsustainable. The lion hunting industry in Tanzania is run by the private sector, although the government leases each hunting block to companies, enforces hunting regulation, and allocates them a species-specific annual quota per block. The length of these leases varies and theories surrounding property rights and tenure suggest hunting levels would be less sustainable in blocks experiencing a high turnover of short-term leases. We explored this issue using lion data collected from 1996 to 2008 in the Selous Game Reserve (SGR), the most important trophy hunting destination in Tanzania. We found that blocks in SGR with the highest lion hunting offtake were also those that experienced the steepest declines in trophy offtake. In addition, we found this high hunting offtake and the resultant offtake decline tended to be in blocks under short-term tenure. In contrast, lion hunting levels in blocks under long-term tenure matched more closely the recommended sustainable offtake of 0.92 lions per 1000 km2. However, annual financial returns were higher from blocks under short-term tenure, providing $133 per km2 of government revenue as compared to $62 per km2 from long-term tenure blocks. Our results provide evidence for the importance of property rights in conservation, and support calls for an overhaul of the system in Tanzania by developing competitive market-based approaches for block allocation based on long-term tenure of ten years.
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Based on neuroanatomical indices such as brain size and encephalization quotient, orcas are among the most intelligent animals on Earth. They display a range of complex behaviors indicative of social intelligence, but these are difficult to study in the open ocean where protective laws may apply, or in captivity, where access is constrained for commercial and safety reasons. From 1979 to 1980, however, we were able to interact with juvenile orcas in an unstructured way at San Diego's SeaWorld facility. We observed in the animals what appeared to be pranks, tests of trust, limited use of tactical deception, emotional self-control, and empathetic behaviors. Our observations were consistent with those of a former Seaworld trainer, and provide important insights into orca cognition, communication, and social intelligence. However, after being trained as performers within Seaworld's commercial entertainment program, a number of orcas began to exhibit aggressive behaviors. The orcas who previously established apparent friendships with humans were most affected, although significant aggression also occurred in some of their descendants, and among the orcas they lived with. Such oceanaria confinement and commercial use can no longer be considered ethically defensible, given the current understanding of orcas' advanced cognitive, social, and communicative capacities, and of their behavioral needs.
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Public concern exists globally about the food system and both the practices and the intensification of animal agriculture. Examples are presented of public opinion in North America, the European Union, and the People's Republic of China. Negative perceptions increase with distance from production agriculture. Even animal science faculty members do not uniformly support present production practices. Public trust in the food system is based on consumers’ or public confidence (shared values based on corporate and institutional social responsibility or their fiduciary responsibility), competence of the people or groups providing the information and the influence of others (e.g., friends and family). Producer or company discussion of issues has focused on competency and “the science” when confidence is markedly more important to consumers and more effective. It is argued that the food system largely escapes regulation by federal and state governments by a social license based on public confidence. However, a tipping point(s) exists such that a crisis could greatly diminish public confidence and end the social license and bring with it increases in regulation. Advocacy for production agriculture (poultry and livestock) needs to incorporate recognition of the need to reaffirm the public's trust, assuring shared values together with an emphasis on good science.
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The management of overabundant urban fauna is a contentious issue worldwide, particularly for populations of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in North America and kangaroos (Macropus spp.) in Australia. To be successful, management programs in such settings must be cost-effective, humane, and publicly acceptable. Here, we describe the management of a fenced, urban population of western grey kangaroos (M. fuliginosus) in southwestern Australia, with an estimated population density of 189kangaroos/km2. After a period of >12months of solicited public involvement by key stakeholder groups, a licensed professional shooting team, observing a national code of practice, conducted night-time sharpshooting. Over an 11-month period in 2006-2007, 1,009 kangaroos were shot in 43 shooting nights, a mean (±SE) culling rate of 23±3kangaroos/night or harvest rate of 12±2kangaroos/hr. Inspectors under the relevant Western Australian legislation functioned as animal welfare observers to ensure that the methods employed for the culling program met the national code of practice and that all license conditions were met. No accidents or injuries occurred during the program. The program produced 17kg/kangaroo of harvestable meat and biological samples for several research projects. The operational costs of the project were very low, at AU$36/kangaroo, with payments largely limited to incentives paid to commercial harvesters and management staff monitoring public safety and animal welfare. This case study is an example of a publicly acceptable, cost-effective, humane, and lethal urban wildlife control operation. It demonstrates that public acceptance of a cull of wildlife can be forthcoming with appropriate prior consultation and high professional standards.
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Animal welfare is increasingly important for the Australian livestock industries, to maintain social licence to practice as well as ensuring market share overseas. Improvement of animal welfare in the livestock industries requires several important key steps. Paramount among these, objective measures are needed for welfare assessment that will enable comparison and contrast of welfare implications of husbandry procedures or housing options. Such measures need to be versatile (can be applied under a wide range of on- and off-farm situations), relevant (reveal aspects of the animal's affective or physiological state that is relevant to their welfare), reliable (can be repeated with confidence in the results), relatively economic to apply, and they need to have broad acceptance by all stakeholders. Qualitative Behavioural Assessment (QBA) is an integrated measure that characterises behaviour as a dynamic, expressive body language. QBA is a versatile tool requiring little specialist equipment suiting application to in situ assessments that enables comparative, hypothesis-driven evaluation of various industry-relevant practices. QBA is being increasingly used as part of animal welfare assessments in Europe, and although most other welfare assessment methods record 'problems' (e.g. lameness, injury scores, and so on), QBA can capture positive aspects of animal welfare (e.g. positively engaged with their environment, playfulness). In this viewpoint, we review the outcomes of recent QBA studies and discuss the potential application of QBA, in combination with other methods, as a welfare assessment tool for the Australian livestock industries.
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The killing of a satellite-tagged male lion by a trophy hunter in Zimbabwe in July 2015 provoked an unprecedented media reaction. We analyse the global media response to the trophy hunting of the lion, nicknamed "Cecil", a study animal in a long-term project run by Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU). We collaborated with a media-monitoring company to investigate the development of the media coverage spatially and temporally. Relevant articles were identified using a Boolean search for the terms Cecil AND lion in 127 languages. Stories about Cecil the Lion in the editorial media increased from approximately 15 per day to nearly 12,000 at its peak, and mentions of Cecil the Lion in social media reached 87,533 at its peak. We found that, while there were clear regional differences in the level of media saturation of the Cecil story, the patterns of the development of the coverage of this story were remarkably similar across the globe, and that there was no evidence of a lag between the social media and the editorial media. Further, all the main social media platforms appeared to react in synchrony. This story appears to have spread synchronously across media channels and geographically across the globe over the span of about two days. For lion conservation in particular, and perhaps for wildlife conservation more generally, we speculate that the atmosphere may have been changed significantly. We consider the possible reasons why this incident provoked a reaction unprecedented in the conservation sector.
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The Australian Feral Camel Management Project (AFCMP) was initiated in 2009 to manage the growing impacts of feral camels (Camelus dromedarius) in Australia. One of the most important considerations for the project was achieving high standards of animal welfare and demonstrating this to stakeholders and the public. The novelty of feral camels as an invasive species meant that relatively little was known about the animal welfare aspects of the available management techniques. To address this knowledge gap, quantitative animal-based assessment tools were developed to allow independent observers to perform repeatable in situ field auditing of the two main control methods used: aerial (helicopter) shooting and live capture (mustering and transport for slaughter). Although observation protocols allowed most stages of aerial shooting (in situ killing) to be assessed, not all stages of live capture operations could be assessed (namely transport and slaughter at ex situ abattoirs) due to the limitations of the jurisdiction of the Australian Feral Camel Management Project. For assessments that were performed, audit results were made available to project partners to allow procedures to be reviewed and published through peer-reviewed literature to improve transparency. Empirical evidence produced through the audit system was also used to refine humaneness ranking assessments comparing management methods. We present the lessons learnt through the animal welfare approach of the AFCMP to assist future wild herbivore management programs.
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We support the call of Wallach et al. (2015a) for a compassionate approach to conservation, and agree that any lethal control must be justified by a high probability of conservation gains and supported by relevant stakeholders. We believe that lethal control of invasive predators is justified when it will reverse the negative impacts of predators introduced by humans on native species and ecosystems, and when the extent of that predation endangers the survival of entire populations or species. Globally a few key introduced predator species are having disproportionately large effects on island ecosystems and their constituent species (e.g. Towns et al. 2006; Medina et al. 2011). Where invasive predators are killed to achieve conservation goals, we believe this can come from compassion for all of the ecosystem, its species, the individuals being protected, and the invasive animals themselves. This view is well supported by literature and policies relating to the role of animal welfare, animal rights, and environmental ethics in pest control programmes (e.g. Gunn 2007; Dunlevy et al. 2011). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Though the conservation community has long premised its moral foundations on consequentialist thinking, and has embraced a dualistic worldview severing reason from emotion, the conservation community has erred by failing to address – or even acknowledge – the limitations of these fundamental tenets. This failure reemerged in 2015 when a wealthy hunter killed an African Lion named Cecil for a trophy, in turn prompting a debate within the conservation community about the appropriateness of killing Cecil. A number of conservationists 1) defended such instances of trophy hunting on the basis that money generated by trophy hunting can support conservation, and 2) ridiculed as irrational those who oppose such instances of killing in the name of conservation. We suggest this response by the conservation community represents common, but problematic, ethical reasoning. We offer a critique of both the ethical underpinning of such reasoning and the assumptions about the relationship between reason and emotion. We urge ethical and social psychological maturation on behalf of the conservation community. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
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How people coexist and interact with animals has become an intensely debated issue in recent times, particularly with the rise of the animal protection movement following the publication of Peter Singer's book Animal Liberation in 1975. This paper discusses some shortcomings of the philosophical positions taken in this complex debate. Singer has helped put animals on a new footing as a group that cannot morally be ignored, but his focus is mainly on individual, familiar animals that are used or abused by humans. The argument of this paper is that the ethics of managing wildlife hinges on a broader view of animals, and their contexts, than is apparent from Singer's text. Wildlife managers aim to conserve populations of a wide range of species, and their habitats, but some mechanisms for achieving these aims, such as research and the control of invasive animals, are frequently opposed by elements of the animal protection movement. We need to adapt our attitude to animals, particularly wildlife, away from the traditional legacy of a few familiar species to embrace an ethic that is more ecological and relevant to Australian contexts. The case argued here has been to see the critical role of context - geographical, ecological, historical, relational - as a basis for a degree of reconciliation between conservation-oriented wildlife managers and the rising interest in the ethics of animal use. There is much to be gained for zoologists, wildlife managers and conservation biologists by framing key elements of their case in ethical arguments. Conversely, the challenge for those in the animal protection movement is to expand their philosophical ideas to include the ethical imperative of the conservation of populations of wildlife.
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Growing evidence suggests wildlife stewardship behaviors might be affected by emotional dispositions toward particular species. To test this hypothesis, we studied wildlife management choices made by backyard citizen scientists (N = 448) involved in two North American bird nest monitoring projects. Our exploratory study characterized nest monitors’ efforts to manage invasive house sparrows, which compete with native songbirds for nesting sites, and examined the relative influence of cognitive and affective factors on management orientations. Results revealed that nearly all respondents engaged in some form of house sparrow management, and most respondents favored a combination of lethal and non-lethal management approaches. Core affect, emotional dispositions, and experiential variables were the primary drivers of citizen scientists’ management decisions, with anger toward house sparrows and firsthand contact with house sparrow damage as the strongest positive correlates of lethal management orientations. Findings highlight the potentially powerful influence of affect and emotions on wildlife stewardship actions.
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Conservation can be achieved only if sustainability is embraced as core to organizational cultures. To test the extent to which the related concepts of sustainability, conservation, response to climate change, poverty alleviation and gender equity have been incorporated into organizational culture, we compared mission statements in the period 1990–2000 with those in 2014 for a sample of 150 conservation non-government organizations (NGOs), aid NGOs, government development agencies, resource extraction companies and retailers (30 in each category). We also analyzed the 2014 home web pages of each organization. Compared with the earlier period, the frequency with which mission statements mentioned poverty alleviation, biodiversity conservation and a range of sustainable practices had increased only slightly by 2014, particularly among resource extractors and retail companies. Few organizations in any sector had embedded either climate change or gender equity into their mission statements. Also the proportional intensity with which any of the aspirations were expressed did not change between periods. For current home pages, conservation NGOs, resource extractors and government agencies were significantly more likely to acknowledge the importance of matters that were not part of their core business but few aid agencies or retail companies promoted any goals beyond alleviation of crises and profit maximization respectively. Overall, there has been some progress in recognizing poverty alleviation, biodiversity conservation and sustainable practices, but gender equity and a determination to reduce impacts on climate change are still rarely promoted as central institutional concerns. Sustainability in general, and biodiversity conservation in particular, will not be achieved unless their importance is more widely apparent in core communication products of organizations.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
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Recent evolution of the wildlife management institution in the United States includes adoption of good governance principles, wherein stakeholders expect and are provided opportunities for input and involvement in making decisions about public wildlife resources. Concurrently and perhaps paradoxically, state wildlife agencies are encouraged to operate with fidelity to the public trust doctrine and the principles of public trust administration, which may require trust administrators (i.e., appointed commissioners and public wildlife managers) to keep trust beneficiaries (i.e., theoretically all citizens, but especially special interests) at arm's length (i.e., restricted from having undue control) with respect to directly influencing decision-making. In addition, public trust administration includes citizens taking responsibility for holding trust administrators accountable and requires government to provide citizens recourse for doing so. In practice, however, accountability typically is achieved through political influence or litigation, both routes antithetical to efficient public trust resource administration. This set of potentially conflicting expectations—practicing good governance through citizens' engagement in wildlife decision-making processes, limiting beneficiaries' direct influence on decisions of trust administrators, and citizens' responsibility for holding trust administrators accountable—creates an apparent conundrum for state wildlife agencies. As a catalyst for deliberation about the implications of public trust doctrine in the wildlife profession, we describe potential problems and suggest ways for public wildlife managers to perform their responsibilities with due diligence to the combined expectations and requirements of good governance and the public trust doctrine. © 2014 The Wildlife Society.
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Decades of decline in the number of hunters in the United States have made hunter recruitment and retention (HRR) a high priority within the North American wildlife management community. Sociodemographic changes (e.g., urbanization, shifting racial/ethnic composition, parcelization of rural properties) suggest a need to re-examine conventional knowledge of HRR processes and develop insight that reflects contemporary contexts. In this article, we emphasize the “social habitat” for hunting and adopt a social–ecological model of hunting behavior to explore the myriad factors that interact to influence HRR at multiple scales. We examine the dynamic, hierarchical social structures that influence HRR, including forces that operate at the individual, micro (e.g., family), meso (e.g., community), and macro (e.g., society) levels. The review suggests that future research addressing HRR could expand to account for a broader, more diverse social habitat for hunting that includes these multiple scales.
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The Canadian harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus) hunt has, for several decades, raised public concerns related to animal welfare. The field conditions under which this hunt is carried out do not lend themselves easily to detailed observations and analyses of its killing practices. This article reports observations carried out over several seasons that aimed at obtaining more specific information about the conditions under which seals are killed, in order to assess potential welfare issues and explore avenues for possible improvements in its practice. A standardised three-step process for killing seals (ie stunning, checking by palpation of the skull, and bleeding) was recently implemented to maximise the proportion of animals that are killed rapidly with minimum pain. Based on field observations, the rifle and the hakapik, when used properly, appeared to be efficient tools for stunning and/or killing young harp seals. All carcases of seals observed to be killed with a rifle, either on the ice or in the water, could be recovered. However, shooting seals in water rather than on ice carried a higher risk of poor welfare outcome because of the limited opportunities to shoot the animals again if not stunned with the first shot. Based on current practices, there is no reliable evidence that the Canadian harp seal hunt differs from other forms of exploitation of wildlife resources from the perspective of animal welfare. Although opportunistic field observations may be less amenable to generalisation than structured studies, we believe that they reflect the reality of the hunt and provide valuable information to direct the evolution of its practice.
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The commercial killing of kangaroos provides multiple benefits to society, but also causes both deliberate and unintended harms to kangaroos. The ethics of the kangaroo industry is assessed in terms of whether the assumed benefits justify the welfare costs. An analysis of the stated benefits indicates that killing for damage mitigation is beneficial mainly during drought and not at current levels; that there is a commercial value, although considerably lower than previously estimated, and that demonstrable environmental benefits from commercial killing of kangaroos are lacking; and that the commercial kill may ameliorate the suffering of kangaroos during drought. Welfare practices are very difficult to assess and regulate due to the size and remote nature of the industry. A combination of empirical data on welfare outcomes and inferences drawn from behavioural and reproductive knowledge of the commercially killed species are utilised to assess harm. The welfare costs include deliberate and indirect harm to dependent young (a by-product of the commercial kill), and a number of unintended harms to adult kangaroos, including increased mortality during drought, inhumane killing of a portion of adult kangaroos, and a disruption of social stability and the evolutionary potential of individuals. Furthermore, a substan- tial gap exists between the intended welfare standards of the code of practice governing the kangaroo industry and the welfare outcomes for both dependent young and adult kangaroos. We found that, on balance, the benefits are lower than expected and the welfare costs are likely to be considerably higher than acceptable. More research, particularly at the point of kill, is necessary to verify and assess the extent of harms. A number of improvements are suggested to the code of practice to improve welfare outcomes
Article
In light of the trajectory of wildlife governance in the United States, the future of sustainable use of wildlife is a topic of substantial interest in the wildlife conservation community. We examine sustainable-use principles with respect to “good governance” considerations and public trust administration principles to assess how sustainable use might fare in the 21st century. We conclude that sustainable-use principles are compatible with recently articulated wildlife governance principles and could serve to mitigate broad values and norm shifts in American society that affect social acceptability of particular uses. Wildlife governance principles emphasize inclusive discourse among diverse wildlife interests, which could minimize isolated exchanges among cliques of like-minded people pursuing their ambitions without seeking opportunity for sharing or understanding diverse views. Aligning governance practices with wildlife governance principles can help avoid such isolation. In summary, sustainable use of wildlife is likely to endure as long as society 1) believes the long-term sustainability of wildlife is not jeopardized, and 2) accepts practices associated with such use as legitimate. These are 2 criteria needing constant attention. © 2017 The Wildlife Society.
Article
Threatened species programs need a social license to justify public funding” (Zander et al. 2014). Or do they? There is growing acceptance within conservation science that community support for and engagement in ecosystem management programs is likely to lead to better conservation outcomes (Marvier & Wong 2012). However, the language used to characterize relations between conservation and the community is important, and use of the term social license may not always be a useful way to describe this relationship. Since the mid-1990s, the term social license has been widely used in the mining sector to describe implicit acceptance and approval of a mining operation by the community in which it operates (Lacey & Lamont 2014). Other industries such as forestry, aquaculture, and agriculture have begun using the term in a similar way (Edwards & Trafford 2016; Ford & Williams 2016; Moffat et al. 2016). Now social license is beginning to appear in conservation discourse (e.g., Garnett et al., 2015; Oakes et al., 2015). At the same time, the use of social license in other sectors has been criticized (e.g., Owen & Kemp, 2013) because it frames relationships with communities as more singular, binary, and tangible than is feasible or desirable (Parsons & Moffat 2014). The use of social license in conservation needs critical evaluation, particularly given the broad contextual differences between conservation and industries such as mining. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Chapter
Large meat buyers need simple easy-to-use audit tools. Assessments suitable for commercial use often have to be simpler than data collection methods used in research. The use of animal based outcome standards is recommended over input standards. The most effective audit tools emphasize directly observable things instead of a reliance on paperwork. To prevent serious welfare issues, there are certain critical noncompliances, which should result in failure. There is a tendency to have audit forms with too many items and items of minor importance are mixed in with the most important items. There are three parts to a robust auditing program: internal audits, third party audits, and audits done by the corporate buyers. When one of these parts is missing a failure to maintain standards is more likely to occur.
Article
As the term ‘social licence to operate’ gains more traction in New Zealand, a plethora of meanings and understandings have been attributed to it. Many of these meanings and understandings, however, only tell a partial story that is often only economically beneficial to a particular industry or industry actor. This article surveys academic, industry, government and media writing about social licence across industries in New Zealand over the past 5 years, distilling out key messages, meanings and understandings that are being created and delivered. The article further compares these meanings and understandings to the original intent of the term as well as the meanings being generated from the extensive research on social licence being carried out in Australia and elsewhere.
Article
Thorough consultation and informed consent are required for any work on Aboriginal-owned land in Australia. Consultations for feral camel (Camelus dromedarius) management under the Australian Feral Camel Management Project across the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia were conducted across a vast area, spanning a diversity of cultures and landscape types. Aboriginal organisations from these jurisdictions developed consultative processes that supported Aboriginal communities in making informed decisions on any removal of camels from their country. This article describes the communication techniques used to depict the feral camel issues and opportunities to Aboriginal communities at the local and landscape scale. The decisions that communities arrived at were varied, but consistently focussed on feral camel removal. Their decisions have led to broad-scale feral camel removal under the Australian Feral Camel Management Project, and beyond.
Article
The Australian Feral Camel Management Project involved a large number of diverse formal collaborators and broader stakeholders. Establishing and maintaining formal and informal collaborations was key to the success of the project. Good governance and communication processes underpin such collaboration and support the ability of projects to be flexible and to respond to unexpected changes in operating environment and/or stakeholder concerns. A priority for the project was to establish enduring relationships that would facilitate ongoing feral camel management.
Article
Feral camels occur over almost 3.3million km2 of the Australian rangelands, including parts of the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. Within this range, pastoral land encompasses an area of 1.39million km2 (1189 properties). The pastoral industry was identified as one of the key stakeholder groups to work with under the Australian Feral Camel Management Project. The impacts of feral camels fall into three main categories: economic, environmental and social/cultural. It should be noted that not all pastoralists were impacted by feral camels. Under the Australian Feral Camel Management Project, multiple approaches were used to engage the pastoral industry through their involvement in developing partnerships, operational planning, implementation and communication. Critical to the success of the project was the commitment to effectively consult with landholders, build partnerships, respect landholder values, establish effective project governance and adopt a flexible management approach.
Article
This article analyses the role of media in the representation and circulation of the term ‘social licence’ within public debate. It does so in the context of an increasingly global political economy of forests, growing public interest in resource procurement and environmental sustainability, and new forms of mediatized environmental conflict that carry volatile notions of ‘the affected’. Drawing on a longitudinal study of the three-decade-long conflict over forests and forestry in the Australia's southern island state of Tasmania, this research outlines the emergence, embedding and decline of the term ‘social licence’ in national and local media coverage. The article argues that the term's openness and strategic deployment by stakeholders in news media exposes industries, markets and communities to continuing conflict, while making the term a site for conflict itself. The article concludes by asking how – within the context of expanding international markets and complex supply chains, and sophisticated use of media by campaigners, corporations and governments – ‘social licence’ can be a publicly useful concept.
Article
Some actions necessary to conserve wildlife sit uncomfortably with those who are concerned about the ethics of animal use. The statutory framework for protecting wildlife is outlined, and examples of the range of issues faced in a State wildlife management agency are discussed, including city wildlife, invasive species, hunting, keeping native animals, threatened species recovery and preparing for climate change. To maintain public support, government wildlife managers need to engage with the different views in society of how we should treat animals. Palmer (2010), a philosopher, identified three zones - wild, contact, and dependent - where humans and animals interact, each with a different ethical context and requiring a different response from people. Geography can determine attitude and destiny, particularly when an animal is foreign to a place, such as rabbits and foxes in Australia. The concept of native animals as pests and/or commercially valuable species has a complicated history, with shooting and commercial hunting reflecting the first half of the European history of wildlife management in Australia. No one word defines our optimal relationship to animals, be it minding, looking, liberation, protection or management, and this range of words identifies the scale of the test facing wildlife managers tasked with making decisions about wildlife. Sutherland et al. (2009) identified 100 questions of importance to the conservation of global biological diversity. I would expand this to 101, to encourage the active engagement of wildlife managers and conservation biologists in the debate on the ethics of animal use.
Article
Achieving ‘a social licence to operate’ is important for organisations with long time horizons, high exposure to global markets and with a wide range of interested stakeholders. Community engagement is critical to achieve a social licence to operate, but its capacity to influence social licence is not well understood. Using case studies from forestry in New Brunswick, Canada and Tasmania, Australia, this article considers what social licence is, how community engagement plays a role in achieving social licence and how an alternative conceptualisation of social licence may improve the influence of community engagement in achieving a social licence to operate. Social licence is often conceived of as a single licence granted by a ‘community’. We argue that social licence is better conceptualised as a continuum of multiple licences achieved across various levels of society. Viewed in this way, we can consider what is needed to achieve social licences at given points along that continuum, and identify the strengths and weaknesses of specific engagement techniques in achieving particular social licences.
Article
We present a social-ecological framework to provide insight into climate adaptation strategies and diverse perspectives on interventions in protected areas for species experiencing climate-induced impacts. To develop this framework, we examined the current ecological condition of a culturally and commercially valuable species, considered the predicted future effects of climate change on that species in a protected area, and assessed the perspectives held by forest users and managers on future adaptive practices. We mapped the distribution of yellow-cedar (Callitropsis nootkatensis) and examined its health status in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve by comparing forest structure, tree stress-indicators, and associated thermal regimes between forests inside the park and forests at the current latitudinal limit of the species dieback. Yellow-cedar trees inside the park were healthy and relatively unstressed compared to trees outside the park that exhibited reduced crown fullness and increased foliar damage. Considering risk factors for mortality under future climate scenarios, our vulnerability model indicated future expected dieback occurring within park boundaries. Interviews with forest users and managers revealed strong support for increasing monitoring to inform interventions outside protected areas, improving management collaboration across land designations, and using a portfolio of interventions on actively managed lands. Study participants who perceived humans as separate from nature were more opposed to interventions in protected areas. Linking social and ecological analyses, our study provides an interdisciplinary approach to identify system-specific metrics (e.g., stress indicators) that can better connect monitoring with management, and adaptation strategies for species impacted by climate change.
Article
Disparity among natural resource agencies and the public often arises when white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are managed in suburban areas. To resolve conflicts, managers require information as to why public constituents deem deer management methods acceptable. We surveyed 660 residents in a suburban Illinois county to evaluate attitudes toward 5 deer management methods: archery hunts, gun hunts, sharpshooting, fertility control, and no management. We used the expectancy-value model to determine beliefs and desires regarding outcomes of deer management methods that drove respondent acceptance and rejection toward deer management regimes. We then used multinomial logistic regression models to determine which public beliefs and desires regarding outcomes of each deer management method predicted acceptance of each method. Attitudes of respondents who accepted and rejected each deer management method differed from respondents who were neutral toward the methods (F2,215 = 3.59–17.93; 0.001 ≥ P ≤ 0.029). The variables most influencing beliefs toward lethal methods regarded whether deer will suffer an inhumane or unnatural death due to the management method (Akaike relative weight ω ≥ 0.95). Beliefs that damage to personal property from deer will decrease drove the acceptance of archery hunts and professional sharpshooting (ω ≥ 0.95). Beliefs regarding the number of deer-vehicle collisions decreasing and deer dying an unnatural death had the strongest support for predicting a person's acceptance or rejection of fertility control (ω = 0.98). The desire for a low-cost management technique and deer numbers to remain the same or increase were the strongest predictors for accepting no deer management (ω = 0.96). Although the expectancy-value model offers the framework to identify attitudinal disparities among citizens who accept and reject deer management methods, not all of the variables in each model set provided further information on why attitudes toward each deer management method differed among residents. Understanding respondent beliefs and desires regarding outcomes of deer management methods will ultimately allow managers to guide education, resolve some management disputes, and aid in future management decisions that may increase the effectiveness of a deer management regime. © 2015 The Wildlife Society.
Article
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) met in Reykjavik, Iceland, in May 1991 to determine whether the five-year moratorium on commercial whaling, implemented in 1986, was to expire or be extended. Japan, Iceland and Norway sought to resume commercial whaling on stocks of fin and minke whales, which they regard as capable of supporting commercial harvest without risk of extinction. The IWC voted to extend the moratorium at least one more year. Iceland has subsequently withdrawn from the IWC, and Norway and Japan are also considering withdrawal. A bioeconomic model is constructed that might be used to manage the industry of commercial whaling is resumed. It is applied to the stock of minke whales in the northeast Atlantic. The price/cost ratio will be important in determining the optimal stock and the long-run viability of whaling. -from Authors
Article
I regard myself as an advocate of animal rights—as part of the animal rights movement. That movement, as I conceive it, is committed to a number of goals, including: the total abolition of the use of animals in science; the total dissolution of commercial animal agriculture; the total elimination of commercial and sport hunting and trapping.
Article
The emergence of the ‘social licence to operate’ concept reflects increasing awareness by industries of the need to negotiate with communities and other stakeholders regarding the costs and benefits associated with industrial development. It has been assumed that all industries understand and apply the social licence to operate concept in a similar way, as previous research has tended to adopt a single-industry focus. This article is one of the first known cross-industry examinations of social licence to operate, comparing the use of this concept in four Australian energy industry contexts: mining, wind, carbon dioxide capture and storage, and geothermal. Semi-structured interviews with industry representatives were conducted to provide a comparison of views on the understanding and application of social licence to operate in these industries. The findings identified shared expectations of increasing stakeholder engagement in energy project development, and a view that a social licence to operate could guide this engagement. Yet the duration of use, the maturity of the industry, and the ways in which the industries related to the concept influenced the understanding and application of this concept. This research provides evidence of how the meaning and application of social licence to operate does vary between industries. Further exploration of community and government perspectives on social licence to operate is recommended in order to broaden the findings of this research. Such research will provide an emerging platform for encouraging discerning use of the concept by industries, and also practitioners who may be engaged across multiple industries.
Article
As we enter the new millennium, wildlife professionals, hunters, and trappers are increasingly challenged by an influential animal rights movement opposed to many of the values and behaviors associated with traditional wildlife harvest and management. We argue that the emergence of the animal rights movement is related to profound sociocultural and demographic shifts occurring within modern society. It is a product of broad macro-structural conditions that, having converged in advanced industrial societies of the late twentieth century, provide fertile ground for the rapid rise and powerful influence of this philosophy. We begin by tracing the development of the philosophy of sportsmanship and the rise of the North American conservation movement. We then discuss animal rights values within the context of 4 social precursors necessary for the widespread adoption of animal rights ideology: 1) an urban epistemology (or world view) disconnected from the reality of wild nature; 2) a popularized interpretation of science which, for many people, provides evidence for a belief in animal rights; 3) anthropomorphism, or the projection of human traits and characteristics onto nonhuman animals; and 4) egalitarianism, in which the concept of rights is extended to the nonhuman animal world. Finally, we discuss the implications of the animal rights movement for the future of hunting and trapping.