Wildlife Welfare Management Problems, Options and Responsibilities
Wild animals suffer a significant impact within their living conditions; this can be the result of direct human management programs, but also of more indirect human activities within their environment. This human influence on the living conditions of wild animals implies that we can speak of moral r...
|Format:||Tesis de Maestría|
Utrecht / Unviersidad de Utrecht
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|Summary:||Wild animals suffer a significant impact within their living conditions; this can be the result of direct human management programs, but also of more indirect human activities within their environment. This human influence on the living conditions of wild animals implies that we can speak of moral responsibility towards non-kept animals. This can be translated into duties with regard to animal welfare, animal integrity or wildlife management. Despite the human influence of wildlife and the related moral responsibility, the socio-political and ethical problems that arise with regard to the welfare of free living wild animals is still basically an unexplored area. The majority of research still focuses on the welfare of kept animals. As a result, it is unclear how to translate the debates on moral obligation with regard to animal welfare into questions of policy and legislation in the field of wildlife. Given the many occasions in which humans and non-kept animals interact this is an urgent topic to look into.
This article presents the results of a pilot study, based on case studies from three European countries (the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom). It presents and analyses the administrative frameworks that are used to deal with welfare questions related to non-kept animals in the three countries and discusses some of the differences and similarities. The aim is to identify and try to define the responsibilities that each of the three countries has established to prevent and manage wildlife welfare problems, and to analyse how this could be applied in cases of welfare management. Results suggest that there are genuine differences and inconsistencies in application, both between and within the countries? policies regarding the welfare of non-kept animals. Furthermore, the results show the lack of a clear welfare definition in the policy and legal documents that can cover welfare issues related to wild living animals. In this sense, the applicability of the available instruments seems to be subject to interpretation, which translates into disagreements between stakeholders. Finally, I recommend the development of further ethical analysis of moral responsibilities towards wild animals; additionally, an analysis of animal welfare conceptions in the context of non-kept animals; and an in-depth political discussion on the potential responsibilities that humans hold towards non-kept animals, which should include the moral views of society and the latest scientific definitions about wild animal welfare.|