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Animals 2018, 8(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8020019

Exploring the Gaps in Practical Ethical Guidance for Animal Welfare Considerations of Field Interventions and Innovations Targeting Dogs and Cats

1
Independent Consultant, Hillcrest, Stanton-by-Dale, Derbyshire DE7 4QQ, UK
2
Alliance for Contraception in Cats & Dogs, 11145 NW Old Cornelius Pass Road, Portland, OR 97231, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Ethics)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [223 KB, uploaded 27 January 2018]

Abstract

Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) and cats (Felis silvestris catus) are common species targeted by nongovernmental or intergovernmental organizations, veterinarians and government agencies worldwide, for field interventions (e.g., population management, rabies vaccination programs) or innovations (e.g., development of technologies or pharmaceuticals to improve animal welfare). We have a moral responsibility to ensure that the conduct of this work is humane for dogs or cats, and to consider the human communities in which the animals live. Ethical review is widely accepted as being integral to responsible practice, and it is fundamental to good science that underpins innovation. Despite the necessity of field interventions or innovations to advance the welfare of individuals or populations of animals, we found a lack of specific guidance and review processes to help navigate ethical dilemmas surrounding the conduct of such work. This can be detrimental to the wellbeing of animals and their human communities. Here we identify the gaps in existing ethical frameworks (specifically application of Reduction and Refinement principles, challenges of obtaining meaningful informed consent with variations in the quality of human-animal relationships, and limited resources regarding considerations of local stakeholders), and outline the need for additional tools to promote ethical conduct in the field. View Full-Text
Keywords: domestic dog; domestic cat; animal welfare; ethical review; ethical decision-making; innovation; field intervention; practical guidance domestic dog; domestic cat; animal welfare; ethical review; ethical decision-making; innovation; field intervention; practical guidance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Tasker, L.; Getty, S.F.; Briggs, J.R.; Benka, V.A. Exploring the Gaps in Practical Ethical Guidance for Animal Welfare Considerations of Field Interventions and Innovations Targeting Dogs and Cats. Animals 2018, 8, 19.

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