Compassionate Conservation

claudio sillero

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 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.

Blogging off


One Response to “Compassionate Conservation”

  1. Neville Wells Says:

    Wildcru conducted in 2008 a field trial/evaluation of US. made and patented so-called soft-catch leghold traps on the “Damage Causing Animal” better known as the black-backed jackal, which attack and kill farmers’ livestock. These devices are unsuitable for ANY predator larger than a jackal, such as a leopard, but the South African Govt’s Dept of Environmental Affairs persists in over-interpreting Wildcru’s findings in its statements to me that “the use of soft-catch traps” has been proposed in the draft Norms and Standards to be published imminently for public comment over the next three years, provided these traps are “used properly”. However it is practically impossible for a livestock farmer to replicate Wildcru’s South African intensively monitored, species-specific trial and to predict the size/weight/kind of trapped animal, bird or reptile which all suffer horrendously and often accidentally. IMO this soft-catch trap trial is being used as a convenient official cover-up for cruel gintraps continuing to be used by farmers. The RSA Govt is allegedly not known for compassion towards its animal population and Wildcru should speak up publicly about this latest potential misunderstanding/official deception by RSA Govt before it is too late for the much reduced Cites Appendix 1 Vulnerable LEOPARD population of South Africa , likely to go extinct within 50 years and hence wildlife tourism. Various non-lethal livestock protection methods are available but these are not being given official credit for some unknown reason.