Biological control of pests and a social model of animal welfare

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Date: Oct. 1, 2019
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report
Length: 351 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Invasive species; Social values; Culture; Biosecurity; Psychology Highlights * Explores where biological pest control and animal welfare interests intersect. * Three cases are explored: feral cats, wild rabbits, and invasive cane toads. * Implications for management examined from psychology, welfare and ethics. Abstract This paper considers the sociocultural implications of biological pest control that sit at the cusp of managing an invasive species for conservation or productivity (i.e. a 'natural enemy') and socially driven 'manipulating life' arguments. We consider the role of perceived humaneness or, more accurately, animal welfare as it relates to managing invasive species from a scientific and social perspective. In order to highlight and articulate particular nuances and standards across different pest control contexts, we use three case examples (feral cats, wild rabbits, and invasive cane toads) and explore where biological pest control and animal welfare interests intersect. The paper summarises key scientific welfare concerns and then extends the literature to also examine key social characteristics of each pest management scenario, including lay perceptions of animal welfare, the sociocultural context that pests exist within, and overarching psychological factors contributing to public sentiment, including perceived risks. The subsequent descriptive model presented is useful in articulating core sociocultural beliefs relative to each case and how these antecedent associations and attitudes about an animal influence subsequent beliefs about a pest management strategy and ultimately acceptance of the management approach. The model can inform invasive species management policies and highlight key sociocultural factors likely to influence public responses. The model also informs interdisciplinary science designed to develop acceptable and socially responsible biocontrol strategies that consider public perceptions of animal welfare and cultural appropriateness. Author Affiliation: (a) CSIRO Land & Water, GPO Box 2583, Brisbane, QLD, 4001, Australia (b) Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform, CSIRO Land & Water, Brisbane, QLD, 4001, Australia (c) RSPCA Queensland, Locked Bag 3000, Archerfield BH QLD 4108, Australia * Corresponding author. CSIRO Land & Water, GPO Box 2583, Brisbane, QLD, 4001, Australia. Article History: Received 2 November 2018; Revised 13 February 2019; Accepted 15 June 2019 Byline: Aditi Mankad [aditi.mankad@csiro.au] (a,b,*), Uttara Kennedy (c), Lucy Carter (a,b)

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Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A596419013