Wildlife Law & Ethics
Exploring how the law can be used to influence the lives of the billions of individual animals we call wildlife, the approach that Wildlife Law & Ethics takes is first to present the law as a solid background and then provide social context regarding the circumstances facing the global community. Therefore, it is framed around specific issues rather than laws. Organizing the chapters around these focused areas of influence makes the related legal complexities understandable to attorneys as well as others involved with or concerned about animal welfare and survival and avoids being too focused on specific animals or the acts of certain industries or individuals. Chapters are framed around specific issues, including protecting species from extinction, illegal wildlife trade, exploitation and neglect of the world’s oceans, and evolving perceptions of captive wild animals, and include one or more case studies.
Once the issues are laid out, each chapter includes one or more case studies that demonstrate the tensions arising in this area and how the law has been applied, or manipulated, to serve desired ends. While these include references for further legal research, these cases are clearly presented in a manner that is easy to comprehend for the lay reader. The facts and relevant laws in each case speak volumes about the threats to wildlife, such as the competition for habitat, the pollution of the oceans, climate change, and the exploitation of species themselves. Finally, the book’s contributors, each a well-known authority in their area, provide meaningful insights into the moral dilemmas and conflicts that accompany legal decisions that greatly affect the lives of wild animals.
Wildlife advocates often hear the questions: “What can I do personally to help animals in the wild? What actions can I take that will truly make a difference?” Wild animals, unlike companion animals, are usually in distant lands or public parks rather than in our own backyards, making our ability to help seem beyond the reach of an individual or local lawyer. The reality is much different, and after reading this book, no one should see his or her role in wildlife protection as limited or nonexistent. By understanding the issues and the laws, it is clear how the products we buy, the entertainment we choose, and the votes we cast have a direct impact on wildlife and the environment.