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Toward a synthesis of conservation and animal welfare science. (Special Issue: Conservation and animal welfare.)

By D. Fraser

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Conservation biology and animal welfare science are multidisciplinary fields of research that address social concerns about animals. Conservation biology focuses on wild animals, works at the level of populations, ecological systems and genetic types, and deals with threats to biodiversity and ecological integrity. Animal welfare science typically focuses on captive (often domestic) animals, works at the level of individuals and groups, and deals with threats to the animals' health and quality of life. However, there are many areas of existing or potential overlap: (i) many real-life problems, such as environmental contamination, urban development and transportation, create problems for animals that involve both welfare and conservation; (ii) research methods from each field are needed to address some of the scientific problems of the other; and (iii) policies and practices targeting either conservation or animal welfare may prove unproductive if they do not take account of both areas of concern. Moreover, scientists in both fields face the common challenge of applying science to guide policy and practice, often to issues that are both empirical and ethical, and often under conditions of uncertainty. There are many cases where communication and co-operation between the fields should lead to better science and better practical outcomes.

Date 2010
Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 19
Issue 2
Pages 121-124
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Language English
Author Address Animal Welfare Program, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia, 2357 Main Mall, Vancouver V6T 1Z4, Canada.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal ecology
  2. Animal rights
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Biodiversity
  5. Biological resources
  6. Conservation
  7. Contamination
  8. Domestic animals
  9. Ecology
  10. Ecosystems
  11. Environment
  12. Ethics
  13. Health
  14. Methodologies
  15. Methods
  16. peer-reviewed
  17. Policy and Planning
  18. pollution
  19. practices
  20. Quality of life
  21. Research
  22. Social psychology and social anthropology
  23. Studies
  24. synthesis
  25. transportation
  26. urban areas
  27. Wild animals
  28. Zoology
  1. peer-reviewed