GR: This article by Brandon Keim includes calls on people to apply the concept of animal welfare to wild animals. Applying animal welfare doesn’t mean that animal needs are more important than human needs. However, it does mean that we should not cause animals unnecessary pain or death and that we should treat animals as humanely as convenient. Go here for more on animal welfare and animal rights, the idea that animals have rights equalling ours.
Matt Reinbold (CC 2.0)
“When land is converted to human use, the environmental impacts are typically measured in terms of pollution and populations and species. Unless they’re endangered, the fate of individual animals doesn’t enter the discussion. They’re practically invisible. Given the vast scale of human development and the care given to domestic animal welfare, it’s a big inconsistency.
“Development’s consequences are not limited “to impacts on the environment and biodiversity,” says Hugh Finn, an environmental law professor at Australia’s Curtin University. “The concept of harm should include harm caused to the welfare of individual wild animals.” Writing in the journal Wildlife Research, Finn and Nahiid Thomas, a wildlife pathologist at Murdoch University, call for animal welfare to be included in environmental impact statements.
“The welfare of wild animals, however, is still a niche issue, though not for the animals themselves. As Finn and Thomas point out, animals are frequently killed by machinery, earth-moving and vegetation-clearing. Those who survive often find themselves without homes, competing in a radically transformed landscape that’s been stripped of food and laid open to invasion. They experience physical pain and psychological distress. In the Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales alone, Finn and Thomas estimate that converting habitat to human use kills 50 million mammals, birds and reptiles each year. Globally those numbers hit the billions.
“By the standards applied to domestic animals, these are clearly welfare issues, and ignoring that “is an act of wilful blindness,” write Finn and Thomas. They urge governmental bodies “to require decision-makers to take animal welfare into account when assessing land clearing applications.” –Brandon Keim (Continue reading: Accounting for individual animals in the Anthropocene | Anthropocene.)
Domestic Animal Welfare
With over 42 million horses and 95 per cent of the world’s donkeys found in developing countries, new research could change the health and welfare of millions of working animals in some of the poorest parts of the world.
The three research studies led by Dr Becky Whay, Reader in Animal Welfare and Behaviour in the School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Bristol, aim to build greater understanding and encourage collaboration in addressing the welfare problems of the world’s working equids. The papers, funded by the Brooke, are part of a new collection of free research articles published online by the Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ) and sponsored by World Horse Welfare.
“We hope our research will make a difference to the lives of these animals and our work will advise owners and vets on how to better look after their animals.”
GR: The scientific method in all its variations is a tool that humans can use to care for their fellow creatures. Research using the method produces reliable reports that add to our knowledge.
When we think of dairy products, the most poignant symbol behind them should be this breaking of a family bond. We’ll know that we’ve moved beyond our collective denial when this truth is present in our minds and replaces the shallow experience of our taste buds. The latter is that infantile, caricature-like side of our brain talking, the one scripted by a lifetime of marketing, manipulating us into believing the lie that cows are happy and their milk makes us strong.
Source: Robert Grillo Free from Harm
“Take Action: On Tuesday, July 22nd, at 9AM, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will discuss the future of Wildlife Services funding. The County has approved Wildlife Services funding since the early 20th century.
“According to the Washington Post, Wildlife Services, a federal agency, killed more than 4 million animals last year alone, including 75,326 coyotes, 866 bobcats, 528 river otters, 3,700 foxes, 973 red-tailed hawks, and 419 black bears. The agency uses snares, traps, poisons, aerial gunning and dogs to kill wild animals, often killing pets and other non-target animals by mistake. An investigative series by the Sacramento Bee found that between 2000 and 2012, Wildlife Services “accidentally” killed more than 50,000 non-problem animals, more than 1,100 dogs, and several imperiled species – including bald and golden eagles. In addition to endangering recreationists and their companions, these services serve to only disrupt the natural balance of wildlife, degrade habitat, leave orphaned animals, increase the risk of disease, and lead to the loss of many ecosystem services that benefit human society directly and indirectly.
“Humboldt County citizens are known for their environmental ethics and forward-thinking ideas. Join EPIC on Tuesday, July 22 at 9AM at the Eureka Courthouse in the Supervisors Chamber to voice your opinion on whether or not Humboldt County should end its contract with Wildlife Services.”
GR: Wildlife Services, a branch of the U. S. federal government, is accustomed to automatic renewal of its agreements. Let’s make the Service’s actions public and call for a policy overhaul.