Transparency and communication can improve wildlife welfare outcomes: A case of kangaroos

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All countries manage human and wildlife coexistence. Where traditionally humans may have killed animals perceived to be a problem, this is often no longer legal or socially acceptable. Decision-makers tend to feel less strongly about coexistence issues than the people who attempt to influence them on behalf of human or wildlife interests. It has been argued that links between human interests and decisions affecting wildlife should be transparent, and that open decision making processes involving a range of local stakeholders will improve outcomes for humans and wildlife. This paper examines one case incident in an ongoing conflict between an international car racing track and kangaroos that have occasionally been found on the track during a race, causing danger to themselves and race participants. A secret local government report and plan to cull kangaroos was obtained using Freedom of Information legislation. When released to the media the subsequent public discussion showed a much greater concern for kangaroo stress, harm and right to live than the official report, and called for consideration of a range of alternatives to culling. This led to postponement of culling plans, and commitment to a more open community discussion of options. The case clearly supports claims that greater transparency and local stakeholder participation in management decision processes can improve welfare outcomes for non-human animals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring communication
Subtitle of host publicationBeyond nation cultural adaption, images and identity
PublisherEDP Sciences
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventInternational Conference on Communication and Media (i-COME 2016) - Istana Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Duration: 18 Sept 201620 Sept 2016


ConferenceInternational Conference on Communication and Media (i-COME 2016)
CityKuala Lumpur


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