Wild animal welfare is the welfare of non-human animals under natural conditions.

Wild animals outnumber animals in factory farms by several orders of magnitude.[1] In spite of this, the welfare of animals in the wild has received very limited attention and concern; a comprehensive online bibliography in this area lists about fifty publications, most of which published online or in relatively unknown journals.[2] Wild animal welfare is thus a highly important and neglected focus area.[3]

As of yet, there have been no serious attempts to improve wild animal welfare, but the issue currently appears to have relatively low tractability. Some in the effective altruism community, however, have argued that this impression is mistaken.[4] Interventions that have been proposed include doing advocacy for wild animals, supporting research into potential solutions, and building general capacity.[5]

Further reading

Animal Charity Evaluators (2022) Why wild animals?, Animal Charity Evaluators, February.
An outline of the main considerations for prioritizing wild animal welfare.

Francini, Louis et al. (2020) Timeline of wild-animal suffering, Timelines Wiki, June 16.

Matthews, Dylan (2021) The wild frontier of animal welfare, Vox, April 21.
An engaging overview of recent developments in the field of wild animal welfare, with a focus on Wild Animal Initiative.

McMahan, Jeff (2010) The meat eaters, The New York Times, September 19.

Ng, Yew-Kwang (1995) Towards welfare biology: evolutionary economics of animal consciousness and suffering, Biology and Philosophy, vol. 10, pp. 255–285.

Spurgeon, Jamie (2022) Helping wild animals, Giving What We Can.

Stafforini, Pablo (2016) Wild animal welfare: a bibliography, Pablo Stafforini's Blog, June 6 (updated 28 April 2021).
A somewhat outdated bibliography of publications on wild animal welfare.

Wild animal suffering video course. An online course about wild animal welfare, by Animal Ethics.

invertebrate welfare | welfare biology

  1. ^

    Tomasik, Brian (2019) How many wild animals are there?, Brian Tomasik's Blog, August 7.

  2. ^

    Stafforini, Pablo (2016) Wild animal welfare: a bibliography, Pablo Stafforini's Blog, June 6.

  3. ^

    Tomasik, Brian (2015) The importance of wild-animal suffering, Relations, vol. 3, pp. 133-152.

  4. ^

    Dickens, Michael (2016) The myth that reducing wild animal suffering is intractable, Philosophical Multicore, April 22.

  5. ^

    Knutsson, Simon (2016) Reducing suffering among invertebrates such as insects, policy paper by Sentience Politics.