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Ethical issues associated with sheep fly strike research, prevention, and control

By M. C. Morris

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Abstract

This paper deals with ethical issues associated with fly strike research, prevention and control. It is argued that in their attempt to find control solutions and to understand the disorder, Australasian researchers increase sheep suffering by conducting experiments that artificially induce fly strike. As an illustration of this, the paper presents two cases where the experiments served no useful purpose in preventing future suffering and some other cases where non-painful alternatives were available. Anecdotal evidence through communication with organic farmers suggests that fly strike is largely preventable if farmers keep sheep healthy and inspect them regularly. Some organic farmers have largely eliminated fly strike from their farm. Investigations on fly strike control using non-intrusive techniques are also progressing in Australasia and the UK. Since it is possible to conduct useful research and to run profitable farms with little or no fly strike, much of the current management, research and policy on sheep farming is ethically questionable. It is recommended that greater communication among researchers needs to be encouraged to prevent unnecessary duplication of experiments. International trade regulations will also need to allow trade barriers based on animal welfare concerns.

Date 2000
Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 13
Issue 3/4
Pages 205-217
ISBN/ISSN 1187-7863
DOI 10.1023/A:1009541810740
Language English
Author Address Department of Architecture and Environmental Systems, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Fukasaku 307, Omiya, Saitama 330-8570, Japan.
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Tags
  1. Animal husbandry
  2. Animal rights
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Arthropods
  5. Australasia
  6. Australia
  7. British Isles
  8. Commonwealth of Nations
  9. Developed countries
  10. Diseases
  11. Ecological agriculture
  12. Ethics
  13. Europe
  14. Flies
  15. Great Britain
  16. Insects
  17. Invertebrates
  18. Mammals
  19. Meat animals
  20. New Zealand
  21. Oceania
  22. OECD countries
  23. organic culture
  24. organic farming
  25. Parasites
  26. parasitic infestations
  27. peer-reviewed
  28. Research
  29. Ruminants
  30. Sheep
  31. sheep diseases
  32. Studies
  33. United Kingdom
  34. Wool producing animals
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed