All of Animal_Ethics's Comments + Replies

A new study looks at how scientific fields have formed

Hi, yes there is a difference between creating new frameworks, and just adopting frameworks to different species in parallel. You probably have in mind the establishment of welfare biology as a new field. What happens in that case is that the study of the circumstances affecting the welfare of wild animals requires learning many things about their environment, due to which cross-disciplinary work intersecting animal welfare science and ecology is needed, which is not the case with domesticated animals.

You're probably right with regards to sources of fundin... (read more)

The potential to reduce the suffering of animals living in the wild by using eDNA sampling

Great questions! The cost of eDNA sampling will depend on the situation and environment to some extent. Its use in water is quite well developed. There is where we currently see the most research and cost comparisons. For instance, from 2017 (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03632415.2017.1276329) "the total effort expended to analyze 36 eDNA samples was approximately 6.8 person-hours. At an hourly pay rate of $22.51/h, the labor cost associated with analyzing our samples was $153. Cost of screening the samples with ddPCR was $4.02 per sample (N... (read more)

3lukasj101y
Thanks! I'm seeing more and more being published on various photonics/plasmonics techniques. Could be promising. I'm hearing the ultimate goal is on-site, rapid automatic pathogen identification at <5 euro/sample.
Helping wild animals through vaccination: could this happen for coronaviruses like SARS-CoV-2?

Thank you very much, Saulius and Will, for your interesting comments, and sorry we didn’t reply straight away as these are very busy weeks for us!

In your comments you raised a point that is unrelated to the content of this post but it’s definitely interesting to address. Among the reasons you mention for signing our publications as individuals, there are some that point to advantages of doing so that, we agree, are undeniable. But there are other reasons in favor of not doing that that we consider more important, so we sign our publications ... (read more)

3saulius2y
Thank you very much for this thoughtful reply. You made some good points that made me think about the question differently.
Helping wild animals through vaccination: could this happen for coronaviruses like SARS-CoV-2?

Thank you for your excellent comment, Gavin! You highlight several important points, with which we agree. Concerning why viruses in general, and coronaviruses in particular, are so prevalent in bats, you're quite right, although on top of what you said there are other factors that can be considered too, which is why we argued that it could be a sum of "high genetic diversity (there are both many species and many individual  bats), [and that bats are] long-lived, and they roost in large groups." 

Helping wild animals through vaccination: could this happen for coronaviruses like SARS-CoV-2?

Thank you! Your points are very good ones.

Like you pointed out, many diseases that can be very virulent in humans (Ebola, Nipah, Coronavirus) are not so virulent in bats, so there would be many instances where a vaccination program will be very valuable for humans but have very little (and maybe even negative, due to side effects) effect on the wild animal population.

Yes, this is true to some extent, although it's likely that even if viruses that are virulent in other animals are less so in bats, they are nevertheless, if to a minor extent, harmful fo... (read more)

Surveying attitudes towards helping wild animals among scientists and students

Hi ælijah, thanks!

Those questions are interesting, but the reason why we didn't ask them is that we carried out this study in order to learn what kind of research it would be better to promote in academia to help to establish work on wild animal suffering/welfare biology as successfully as possible. Due to this, we chose the scenarios that we expected to be more promising (based on our study of the literature, but especially on the results of this other study).

Surveying attitudes towards helping wild animals among scientists and students

Yes, the survey was anonymous. At any rate, at this point we know of scholars who could carry out work on fields related to helping wild animals (right now we're funding welfare biology research in Canada, New Zealand, and Spain). The main constraint to getting work done is funding.

If you know of specific, comparable examples and are able to share their names/citations...

These are some examples, though it’s anecdotal evidence. It's also hard to say to what extent they are relevantly comparable:

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177... (read more)

Surveying attitudes towards helping wild animals among scientists and students

Hi Jamie, thank you!

We did consider asking academics about that, but we finally decided against it as that could have distorted the results of the survey, and our primary goal here was to get the information we were looking for.

We have a similar opinion about the response rate. We were expecting it to be quite low, though not that much (we had initially planned to send 2,000-2,500 emails, and ended up sending almost 4,000). Other surveys among scientists do get much higher response rates, although they can vary a lot.

2Jamie_Harris2y
Yeah, that definitely seems a reasonable concern. I guess you could still follow up the survey with an additional question for those who gave more favourable responses? Would depend on how you collected the survey though, e.g. if it was anonymous. <<Other surveys among scientists do get much higher response rates, although they can vary a lot.>> If you know of specific, comparable examples and are able to share their names/citations I'd be keen to take a look at them. This seems like a fairly difficult-to-Google topic, although I found one survey [https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0741088384001002004?casa_token=XnFlVl09t5AAAAAA:17LV0tOssEsDlWmGYSfiXByRf7nvqs-n9nmAfxbva_swQ5SLhFU3lriRYnTd_kl7I51_1M_3hSo] that received responses from 190 of the 231 academic departments that it mailed surveys to. I might refer to your survey (and the point I'm making here, about high interest from respondents but a low response rate) in a research report I'm writing at the moment.