UTSpeaks: Cull & Contain or Compassion?

Have we lost our connection with and empathy for animals that foolishly get in our way?
Photo by Ryan Albrey, (cropped from original on Flickr)

Photo by Ryan Albrey, (cropped from original on Flickr)

22 May 2014
6:00 PM

Aerial Function Centre

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Do animals feel only when we have feelings for them? Do they have value only when they are our pets or make us money? When we study them for science, is their capture and release never without lethal or long-term consequence?  Throughout history, human activity has led to conflict with wild, native and introduced animals. We negate them as pests or threats. Our solution has been to cull or contain them, often resigned to their fear, pain and distress. In our burgeoning cities and suburbs, most of us are serenely cocooned.

Drawing on UTS and international research and illustrated with compelling case studies, this public lecture and Q&A forum takes stock of how we respond to inconvenient animal populations, the fallout for animals and people alike and considers how we can devise more compassionate solutions.

Professor Rob Harcourt
Rob Harcourt leads the Marine Predator Research group at Macquarie University and has a long-held interest in animal welfare, animal conservation and animal behaviour. He is the Facility Leader for the Animal Tracking and Monitoring facility of the Integrated Marine Observing System and chairs the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Ocean Tracking Network. He, with colleagues pioneered sharing data across disciplines and between research groups to optimise our understanding of the natural world and how animals respond to the human influences.

Dr Daniel Ramp
Biologist Daniel Ramp is Director of the newly-established Centre for Compassionate Conservation, a UTS-driven international research collaboration developing conservation strategies that consider the well-being of animals, while mitigating environmental change driven by human population growth and climate change. The work of the Centre contributes to a growing international movement to educate through new research, advocate for informed change and support government policy to better protect the wellbeing of individuals – human and animals alike.


21 May 2014