PAN Works is delighted to announce that Francisco Santiago-Ávila (PAN Works, Project Coyote & The Rewilding Institute) and our colleague Pablo Castello (Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law) recently published “Conservation after Sovereignty: Deconstructing Australian Policies against Horses with a Plea and Proposal” in the journal Hypatia.
From the Abstract:
Conservation scholarship and policies are concerned with the viability of idealized ecological communities constructed using human metrics. We argue that the discipline of conservation assumes an epistemology and ethics of human sovereignty/dominion over animals that leads to violent actions against animals. We substantiate our argument by deconstructing a case study. In the context of recent bushfires in Australia, we examine recent legislation passed by the parliament of New South Wales (NSW), policy documents, and academic articles by conservationists that support breaking communities of horses and/or killing 4,000 horses in Kosciuszko National Park (KNP), NSW. Theoretically framing our deconstruction against human sovereignty over animals and anthropocentrism, we affirm an intersectional, ecofeminist approach that values animals as relational and vulnerable agents. We uncover first the epistemic violence of categorizing horses as “pests,” and the anthropocentric nature of recently passed legislation in NSW. We analyze next the deficient ethics of NSW’s government, and the argument that killing animals is justifiable when they suffer from starvation and dehydration. We close with a realistic proposal that does not involve breaking horses’ communities and/or killing horses, and a plea to the government of NSW and conservationists not to harm any horses in KNP.
Readers may also enjoy these two related articles on brumbies.
Coughlin, Simon, and Adam Cardilini. 2022. “Introduced Species Are Animals Too: Why the Debate Over Compassionate Conservation is Worth Having.” The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/introduced-species-are-animals-too-why-the-debate-over-compassionate-conservation-is-worth-having-163987.
Lynn, William S. 1998. “Contested Moralities: Animals and Moral Value in the Dear/symanski Debate.” Ethics, Place and Environment 1 (2): 223–42. https://doi.org/10.1080/1366879X.1998.11644229