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A Protocol for the Ethical Assessment of Wild Animal–Visitor Interactions (AVIP) Evaluating Animal Welfare, Education, and Conservation Outcomes

By Barbara de Mori, Linda Ferrante, Daniela Florio, Elisabetta Macchi, Ilaria Pollastri, Simona Normando

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

Due to the popularity of wild animal–visitor interactions (AVIs), there is a need for an ethical assessment of their impact on animal welfare, education, and conservation. The protocol presented in this study is designed to evaluate such interactions on an integrated level, using a transparent analysis of all the aspects involved, including all the stakeholders and the potential conflicts of values. The protocol consists of a six-step process encompassing dedicated data acquisition and a specific ethical assessment. When the protocol was applied to assess a “giraffe feeding” interaction, steps devoted to data acquisition found that animal welfare risks were low, and that visitors described giraffes with emotionally linked descriptors more often after the interaction. The net promoter score, which refers to how likely visitors would recommend to a friend to join the animal–visitor interaction, was 74%. The subsequent ethical assessment, which consisted of a comparison of the results of the previous steps with an ethical matrix highlighting the ideal situation for all stakeholders’ interests, allowed the overall identification of the ethical concerns entailed by the interaction. A final ethical checklist of the examined AVI had a “yes” in entries regarding animal welfare, emotional, and conservation mindedness outcomes and ethical assessment.

Submitter

Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2019
Publication Title Animals
Volume 9
Issue 8
Pages 35
Publisher MDPI
DOI 10.3390/ani9080487
URL https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/9/8/487
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Animal roles
  2. Conservation
  3. Education
  4. Ethics
  5. Human-animal interactions
  6. open access
  7. Risk Assessment
  8. Tourism and travel
  9. Zoo and captive wild animals
  10. zoo visitors
Badges
  1. open access