To act or not to act? Sheltering animals from the wild: A pluralistic account of a conflict between animal and environmental ethics

Ethics, Place and Environment 6 (1):13 – 26 (2003)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The leading question of this article is whether it is acceptable, from a moral point of view, to take wild animals that are ill out of their natural habitat and temporarily bring them under human control with the purpose of curing them. To this end the so-called 'seal debate' was examined. In the Netherlands, seals that are lost or ill are rescued and taken into shelters, where they are cured and afterwards reintroduced into their natural environment. Recently, this practice has been criticised because it is thought to interfere with the wildness of the animals and population. In this research, the moral assumptions behind the arguments of both the proponents and opponents of sheltering have been analysed within a morally pluralistic framework. It is concluded that sheltering on too large a scale would be contrary to the efforts of the last few decades to maintain an independent or wild seal population, which means that a certain amount of caution is called for. However, in the current situation there is no decisive reason to completely prohibit shelters either. Good arguments can even be given in favour of sheltering. It also becomes clear that the acceptability of sheltering wild animals depends on the specific circumstances in which an animal is encountered.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,219

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The concept of intrinsic value and transgenic animals.H. Verhoog - 1992 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 5 (2):147-160.
The reintroduction and reinterpretation of the wild.Eileen O'Rourke - 2000 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 13 (1):144-165.
Why Animals Can't Act.Ralf Stoecker - 2009 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 52 (3):255-271.
The Medical Treatment of Wild Animals.Robert W. Loftin - 1985 - Environmental Ethics 7 (3):231-239.
The wild animal as a research animal.Jac A. A. Swart - 2004 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 17 (2):181-197.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
55 (#280,030)

6 months
10 (#226,679)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Frans Brom
Utrecht University
Frans Stafleu
Utrecht University
Jan Vorstenbosch
Utrecht University
1 more

References found in this work

Mortal questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Animal Liberation.Peter Singer (ed.) - 1977 - Avon Books.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Susan J. Armstrong & Richard George Botzler.
The case for animal rights.Tom Regan - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring ethics: an introductory anthology. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 425-434.

View all 20 references / Add more references