Wild Animal Welfare: Does it matter? Can it be assessed? How can it be optimised?

Date: 19/04/2021


The third Wild Animal Welfare Committee (WAWC) conference takes place on Monday 19 April 2021 from 08:45 – 17:00 hrs UK time.


The WAWC is delighted that its first virtual conference includes presentations from some of the leading names in animal welfare around the world. We are most grateful to all the speakers for embracing the challenge of answering our three questions about wild animal welfare (Does it matter? Can it be assessed? How can it be optimised?), in addition to agreeing to speak at times of day which are not necessarily conducive to their own welfare.
We extend our thanks to them all.

We are also looking forward to discussion and interaction with delegates from many different countries – making connections, contrasts and comparisons about how we interact with the sentient individual wild animals who share our environment.

The WAWC wishes to thank UFAW (Universities Federation for Animal Welfare) for hosting the virtual conference and for the provision of invaluable support and technical assistance.

All views expressed during the conference are those of the speakers.

(Timings are shown in British Summer Time)
08:45 Welcome and introductions Pete Goddard, WAWC Chair

Session 1.1 Safeguarding wild animal welfare using the Five Domains approach
09:00 Ngaio Beausoleil
The assessment of wild animal welfare and the application of the Five Domains model in this process
09:40 Mark Jones
Why wild animal welfare matters
10:00 Sarah Dolman
Marine mammal welfare – how do we know that welfare is at risk?
10:20 BREAK

Session 1.2 The contextual nature of how we value wild animals differently
Chair: Angus Nurse
10:40 Mike Radford
Wild animal “welfare”: familiar concept, misnomer, or radical departure?
11:00 Heather Bacon
Human behaviour towards wild animals: why are they valued differently and how does this
affect their welfare?
11:20 Alick Simmons
Why are different welfare standards applied to different wild animals in different settings?
11:40 Becca Franks
From wildlife to farmed to invasive and back again: animal welfare problems and solutions
revealed in our inconsistent treatment of fishes

Session 2.1 Evaluation of wildlife welfare
Chair: Liz Mullineaux
13:00 Cathy Dwyer
Evaluating wildlife welfare: Outcomes from a welfare prioritisation using a Delphi approach
13:20 Sandra Baker
Using the Sharp and Saunders model to evaluate animal welfare impacts in wildlife
13:40 Steven McCulloch
Government decision making on wildlife conservation and animal welfare: Applying impact
assessment and dealing with moral disagreement
14:00 Jessica Findlay
How do we ensure a consistent approach to embedding welfare in practical wildlife
14:20 BREAK

Session 2.2 Interaction between individual animal welfare and species conservation / management / human issues
Chair: Alick Simmons
14:40 Chris Draper
Applying the principles of ethical wildlife control to protect wild animal welfare
15:20 Justine Shotton
Assessing welfare of captive wild animals using the Animal Welfare Assessment Grid
15:40 Alastair MacGugan
How do we make wildlife welfare relevant in a net zero carbon Scotland?
16:30 Pete Goddard
Closing remarks

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