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Introduction to Animal Welfare 2.0

Introduction Lecture B
by

Carrie Ijichi

on 19 January 2016

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Transcript of Introduction to Animal Welfare 2.0

Introduction to Animal Welfare
What is animal Welfare?

"The welfare of an animal is its state as regards its attempts to cope with its environment"
(Broom, 1986)
The Five
Freedoms

Decision Making
Sentience & Awareness
Self-awareness
The ability not only to
feel
but to be
consciously aware
of these feelings &
the fact that you are a
separate individual
.
Animal welfare refers to the well-being of an animal, ranging from good to poor.
Simple...
Fancy...
Legislation
Ethics
Personal Feelings
Most
basically
, is what I want to do
legal
?
It might be legal, but is it the

right
thing to do?
Can I
justify
my actions?
Ok, so it's
legal
and I can
justify
doing it but
how do I
feel
about taking part in this?
"Animal Machines"
In 1964,
Ruth Harrison

wrote "Animal Machines" which objectively but explicitly outlined intensive livestock and poultry farming practices for an otherwise ignorant public.
The public outcry following the book was huge, prompting the British Government to appoint a committee to assess the welfare of farm animals.
Two things to take from this...
The "Brambell
Committee"
In 1965, this committee, chaired by Prof, Roger
Brambell
presented its report.
1. Freedom from hunger & thirst
Animals must be provided with enough
fresh water
and the
right type and amount of food
to keep them
healthy
2. Freedom from Discomfort
Animals must have the right type of environment, including shelter and somewhere comfortable to rest
3. Freedom from Pain, Injury and Disease
Animals must be prevented from getting ill or injured and by making sure they are diagnosed and treated rapidly if they do
4. Freedom to Behave Normally
Make sure animals have enough space, proper facilities and the company of other animals of their own kind.
5. Freedom from Fear and Distress
Make sure that animals conditions
and treatment avoid
mental suffering
Lecture Preparation
"Animal Welfare: Limping Towards Eden"
(Webster, 2005) Chapters 1 & 2

"Animal Welfare" (Appleby et al. 2011)
Chapter 1.2 - 1.5

Contractarianism
However, animals cannot treat us badly in return...
Therefore, the welfare of animals is
not
considered
unless
their poor welfare impacts negatively on humans

You should be moral because it is is your self interest - if you treat other humans badly you will be treated badly in return
They also cannot enter into a contract or agreement with us, so they are not part of the moral community
Problems...
Welfare is based on
favouritism
-
Children and the severely mentally disabled also cannot enter into contracts with us...
Utilitarianism
Only consequences are important when making ethical decisions
We should all aim to bring about the
best
consequences
through our actions -
do the
most good
for the
most individuals
The species is not the priority but the strength of their interest (whether avoiding suffering or seeking pleasure)
Problems...
My pleasure in eating meat doesn't outweigh the
suffering caused by farming & killing animals
"It is not wrong to rear and kill it for food, provided that it lives a pleasant life, and...will be replaced by another animals which will lead a similarly pleasant life and would not have existed if the first animal had not been killed."
Ok, can I kill and eat a student?
I promise, it'll be painless and I'll replace them!
No, students have self consciousness which gives them a desire to go on living which animals don't (to our current knowledge)
Further, their parents are quite fond of them and would probably find it upsetting, causing suffering
Animal Rights
Problems...
Contextual Approaches
Problems...
How do you decide how
to treat animals?

What considerations need to be made?
Capacities such as
sentience
or
self-
consciousness
give individuals rights
This refers to creatures that "
want
and
prefer
things,
believe
and
feel
things,
recall
and
expect
things."
These traits give individuals
"inherent value"
that cannot be traded off or replaced
Evidence that human infants and animals fully possess these traits is unclear, but as we cannot be sure of others inner worlds, they should be given the benefit of the doubt
Rights
cannot be violated
, irrespective of
good consequences
Conflicting rights
are common - I'm being attacked by a bear, it's me or the bear...
Can we
own
pets if they have rights?
We're not allowed to own other humans for this reason.
Rights protect against
interference
from individuals with
moral agency
.
It does
not
mean we have a duty to
assist

so we don't rescue animals.
Do we have to right to neuter these pets, denying them the right to sexual and reproductive freedom?
The capacity of the animal is
important
,
but
not enough in itself
to inform decisions.
Instead it emphasises the
"moral emotions
" - sympathy, empathy, care etc. Poor welfare demonstrates a lack of
appropriate emotional response
in the carer.
Humans are responsible for the
existence
of domestic animals. This creation of
vulnerability
&
dependence
demands
"special obligations"
.
Do we have individual or collective responsibility for animals?
It might only protect
individual
animals -
I'm responsible for
my
dog
but not for dogs in general.
It's a relatively loose moral framework
Doesn't apply to wild animals with which we have no direct obligations
Does it meet my own
personal
standards
for good animal welfare?
This judgement may be
less objective
than
legal
and
ethical
considerations, but it is important never-the-less.
Only you can make a judgement on this level.
For this reason, you must
respect
the decisions
of others as you would want yours to be
respected (assuming they meet
legal and ethical guidelines).
"The welfare of a sentient animal is determined by its capacity to avoid suffering and sustain fitness"
(Webster, 2005)
"The question is not 'Can they reason?
Can they talk?' but 'Can they suffer?'"
Jeremy

Bentham

"A sentient animal is one for whom
feelings matter"
Webster, 2005

It is based around the belief that animals are
sentient
, and that this allows them to experience
suffering
and
positive emotional states
.
An animal's welfare is good if its physical
and
psychological needs are met. It is poor if one or
other of these needs is denied.
"Not only will welfare mean
control of pain and
suffering
, it will also entail
nurturing and fulfulment
of the animal's nature, which I call
telos
."
(Rollin, 1993)

Non-Sentient
Sentience
These individuals can respond to environmental stimuli to protect their homeostasis
These individuals not only respond to stimuli, they appear to experience emotions and feelings.
They will also remember positive & negative situations and are motivated to approach or avoid such situations again.
This is associated with an ability to
rationalise
feelings.
This stated that animals should have

5
essential freedoms.
As a result, the committee now known
as the
Farm Animal Welfare Council
(FAWC)
was formed .
Not only can one person make a difference,
they can be
revolutionary
The public are
very powerful
when
it comes to government action
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/all?title=animal%20welfare
DONT FORGET - legislation
varies between countries
, including
within
the UK and ROI
Transport
Slaughter
Tail Docking
Farming
Game Birds
Electric
Collars
Poisons
Fighting
Sale or Prize
"I love my dog & cat so you can't harm any
dogs or cats but you can poison mice..."
"Pandas are cuter than sharks,
lets only conserve pandas..."
Does this mean I can reduce their
welfare conscience free?!
It's often influenced by
cultural norms.
Full transcript