Born Free Foundation and all our friends at WildCRU, have been truly amazed by the Compassionate Conservation Symposium held at LMH, Oxford, last week. So many wonderful speakers, so many quality presentations, so much compassion.
Intriguing subject matter as diverse as “First do no harm: hamsters, ferrets, and killing in the name of conservation’, `Kangaroo harvesting: do the means justify the ends?’, ‘Toward a synthesis of animal welfare, animal ethics and conservation’ and ‘Respect: a trimate legacy’, amongst many others, stimulated a wide-ranging debate that left delegates exhausted but elated. At www.compassionateconservation.org you can get a glimpse (the Symposium Abstracts) of the subjects covered by our speakers.
Animal welfare and conservation are two disciplines that for too long have been perhaps artificially kept at arms length. As David Macdonald said in his keynote address: “Both welfare and conservation scientists will benefit from the best scientific insight into the animal welfare implications and conservation and management practice’ – and so will the animals.
Following the conference we have received numerous positive comments back from delegates. I think we realise that something very special happened in those few days. Described by one leading participant as ‘the best symposium he had ever attended’ the Compassionate Conservation Symposium could be, according to another, ‘the start of something new’.
Over the weeks and months ahead look out for more details on Compassionate Conservation at the website, including many of the Symposium presentations in full.