Regulation of Wild Animal Welfare
Perhaps more than any other category of animal, wild animals can evoke a sense of admiration and awe. The diversity of wild animals, their beauty, strangeness, physical prowess and intelligence make them endlessly fascinating to humans. Wild animals can also invoke fear, especially outside controlled settings such as wildlife parks and zoos, which may prompt a heightened respect such that they are “left alone”, or cause outright hostility, so that they are targeted for killing. Wild animals can also provoke less than benign responses when they are perceived as a “resource” to be commercially exploited, as a “pest” compromising agricultural production or biodiversity, or as an opportunity for “sport”, where they may be hunted or used in some other way for entertainment. The variety of human responses to wild animals is reﬂected in the complexity of the regulation of their treatment. There is no coherent regulatory approach to the treatment of wild animals in Australia. The most relevant law in this area is a mixture of animal welfare legislation and nature conservation legislation, each underpinned by different, and sometimes conﬂicting, conceptions of animals and their signiﬁcance. This chapter will address some of the key issues in the regulation of the treatment of wild animals. Given the potential scope of the ﬁeld of “wild animal law”, the account provided here is necessarily highly circumscribed. The chapter will focus on the interplay between animal welfare and nature conservation legislation and, mostly, terrestrial rather than marine animals.
Animal Law in Australia
Law not elsewhere classified