Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Animal Ethics Policy and Law

We are delighted that our MSc IAWEL team and IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) are working together to provide current information for the online students studying the Animal Ethics Policy and Law course which is part of the online Masters in International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law programme (MSc IAWEL).
Protection for elephants, or is it just an elaborate sham? That’s one such question that students may be addressing in their MScIAWEL presentations this week, after trucks transporting four young elephants were intercepted while transferring the calves to a “rehabilitation” centre last week. According to a report by South Africa’s National Council of SPCA’s the elephants had been removed from their wild herds, because their mothers were to be shot at one of South Africa’s most infamous hunting ranches in North West Province.
“Do conservation officials actually know what their responsibilities to elephants are, and do they even care?” says Jason Bell, Director for the IFAW Elephant Programme ( www.ifaw.org). Someone issued permits for these calves to be removed and transported – entirely contrary to the Norms and Standards for the Management of Elephants in South Africa which says wild elephant calves may not be removed from their herds as a result of their mothers being identified for hunting. IFAW called on the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs to look into this as a matter of urgency, reminding  them that there is legislation in place to protect elephants from cruelty and exploitation, and that it needs to be observed.

Our MSc IAWEL students will be giving online presentations, to Dr Fritha Langford of the MSc IAWEL and Paul Todd, Dr Jason Bell and Cindy Milburn from IFAW.
The students are presenting their research and potential solutions to a variety of issues surrounding the welfare, conservation and use of elephants including:
  • The legislative frameworks surrounding wild animals in different countries
  • The key policy drivers in regions with elephants and regions where ivory products are retailed
  • The potential conflicts between welfare and conservation of elephants
  • Risks from over-population of elephants in fragmented habitats
  • The ethics of ‘sustainable’ culling of elephants

Having three senior members of IFAW available to give feedback to students, is a real honour for this programme and a fabulous opportunity for the students.


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