The CASJ is holding a seminar on Wildlife Conservation, Animal Welfare and Public Policy at the University of Leicester on Thursday 19th April 2012. The seminar will examine human impacts on the welfare of wild animals both in the UK and internationally, focussing in particular on how law and politics affect human/wildlife interactions.
The aims of the seminar reflect the CASJ’s fundamental rationale. The CASJ identifies a broad social consensus that a world in which animals are not harmed and destroyed by humankind is a desirable ultimate goal. Government statements and public opinion both agree that how we treat animals is an important measure of the state of society. These social values are buttressed by a strong philosophical case for animal protection based on mainstream analytical ethics. However, these principles are not being translated into action. The CASJ’s goal is to research the causes of this paradox, and work to resolve it.
The event, which will be opened by Dr Brian May, one of the UK’s leading advocates for wildlife protection, provides a valuable opportunity for academic researchers to engage with Government policy-makers and the major animal protection NGOs such as the League Against Cruel Sports, RSPCA, WSPA, IFAW and HSI.
In the UK, wildlife welfare issues such as hunting and the proposed badger cull are currently high on the public policy agenda. Globally, development often increases the stress on both habitats and wild animals themselves, so this seminar will make an important contribution to our understanding of these issues at a critical time.
The main papers to be presented include:
- Professor Stuart Harrop (Professor of Wildlife Management Law and Director of Durrell Institute of Conservation & Ecology, University of Kent): ‘Has the pace of climate change ousted animal welfare from conservation practices?’
- Professor Rosaleen Duffy (Professor of International Politics, University of Manchester): ‘Regulating Animal Welfare in the Tourism Industry: Elephant trekking in Thailand and Botswana’
- Dr. Angus Nurse (School of Social Science at Birmingham City University): ‘The Thin Green Line – The current state of animal welfare, conservation and wildlife law’
- Dr. Katy Wilkinson (Research Associate, Newcastle University, and Academic Fellow DEFRA): ‘Slipping through the net? Policy silos and the challenge of integrating wildlife, health and welfare in DEFRA’
- Dr Adam Spencer (Institute for Science and Society, University of Nottingham): ‘Science, Ethics, Politics: Bovine Tb in Great Britain’.
We are also very pleased to welcome Dr Keith Vincent from the Law Commission, who will outline their historic review of the UK’s wildlife legislation.
The aims of the seminar reflects the CASJ’s commitment to a positive impact on animal protection and research excellence. In terms of impact, we want to examine whether national and international policies do justice to ethical imperatives and the significant public interest in the protection of wild animals. Do policy processes need to be reformed so that animal welfare and public attitudes are given the consideration they deserve?
Our related research agenda centres on advancing knowledge in three broad areas: (1) how our society impacts on wild animals, (2) the ethical implications of such impacts and (3) how politics and the exercise of power influence the goals of wildlife welfare, conservation and human wellbeing.
Due to limited capacity, the seminar is invitation only. Please contact the CASJ for more information.
Key Projects & Activities
The CASJ’s priority programmes will involve research and advocacy in three crucial areas:
1. Animals’ legal/political status
2. Institutional representation for animals
3. Policy Strategies for Animal Protection
See Projects for further details.