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  • Author or Editor: Tanya Wyatt x
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The UK considers itself to be an animal-loving nation, but it has one of the most nature-depleted landscapes in all of Europe if not the world. To reverse the damaged state of nature, a rewilding movement is gaining momentum around the country. This chapter explores efforts in the UK to rewild the lynx to Scotland and Northern England. The exploration is twofold – first, the chapter examines the narratives of opposition and support for return of the lynx, focusing on the non-human animal and environmental harms and benefits that are predicted. Second, the chapter analyses how the Bern Convention and CITES as they are transposed in UK legislation can account for rewilding.

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This illuminating study explores crimes against, and involving, wildlife and the resultant social harms.

The authors go well beyond basic conceptions of animal-related crime, such as illicit trade, for a deeper exploration of wildlife criminology, using a novel approach that combines philosophical, legal and criminological perspectives. They shed light on both legal and illegal harms, including blood sports, wildlife as food and abuse in zoos, and consider the potential connections with inter-human crimes.

This is a unique treatment of wildlife as victims of crime and a consideration of their rights as sentient beings that sets new horizons for the concept of wildlife criminology.

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This chapter further explores the theme of wildlife as human property and exploitable natural resource with an examination of the sale and exploitation of wildlife for food. Wildlife as food is a complicated issue as not only does it include luxury ‘exotic’ foods like caviar, whale, and bear paws, but also includes common species such as deer, rabbits, and snakes. Adding to the complexity is that some species, like caviar, were at one time common, but because of over-exploitation and unsustainable consumption have become a luxury. Alternatively, once common non-human animals like the pangolin have been exploited to dangerous levels due to their status as a luxury food (and medicine). The chapter gives specific examples where wildlife is consumed as food to explore the various motivations of consumption. There is an in-depth discussion of caviar, where there is evidence of organised crime orchestrating this complicated global black market. We end this chapter by discussing the speciesism that is inherent in our food choices.

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This chapter examines the notion of wildlife as property or ‘things’ and critically analyses the extent to which anthropocentric notions of wildlife as a resource for human exploitation determines harm caused to non-human animals. This chapter examines how anthropocentric notions of morality and human-centred values underpin the exploitation of non-human animals and the sense in which they are owned. Employing a green criminological perspective, the chapter examines the use and abuse of wildlife within the animal ‘entertainment’ industry. The chapter examines the use of wildlife within aquariums, zoos, and circuses and examines both the legality of this use and the non-human animal harm contained within such uses. Evidence exists, for example, of psychological harm caused to wildlife in zoos that would likely be unlawful if experienced by companion animals. Yet, zoos and safari parks are ostensibly legal operations, thus animal welfare legislation is often the only mechanism through which action can be taken in respect of what would otherwise be deemed unlawful captivity (see also Chapter 7 on animal rights). We end the chapter by touching on how wildlife come to be property – that is a short discussion of wildlife trade, including the online market.

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This chapter defines wildlife criminology as a criminology concerned not only with wildlife trafficking, but considers criminological perspectives on animals and wildlife within a broader context. The introduction provides a definition of wildlife as constituting animals living primarily outside human control or influence; thus distinguished from companion animals who are directly dependent on humans for food and shelter. However, wild non-human animals are affected by human activity in a variety of ways from trafficking in wildlife, through to destruction of habitat, and development that impacts directly on wildlife. Thus, this chapter explains that the book’s focus is on a wildlife criminology that considers a wide range of unlawful and deviant acts that impact on and harm wildlife. It introduces the four interconnected themes used to explore crimes and harms against wildlife - commodification and exploitation, violence, rights, and speciesism and othering.

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This chapter examines issues around animal rights and wildlife rights exploring the notion of wildlife as belonging to ‘no-one’ or as belonging to ‘everyone’ in a manner that arguably should create a form of rights. Animal rights debates often centre around the need to provide rights for recognized sentient species (chimpanzees, dolphins, apes) and this chapter critically considers these debates, arguing that our exploitation of wildlife amounts to an infringement of certain rights. The chapter also contrasts the greater level of protection and limited rights provided to companion animals with that provided to wildlife, and argues for a limited extension of rights to wildlife in the form of legal personhood that protects them from certain forms of exploitation. The chapter includes case studies of the recent US case that attempted to argue for legal personhood in respect of several chimpanzees and the Argentine case that granted legal personhood to the Orang-utan, Sandra.

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This chapter explores the killing of wildlife in the name of sport via an examination of shooting, fisheries, game, and poaching. The chapter examines the extent to which legal activities such as shooting and fishing are endemic with illegal activities including: permit breaches; excessive catch; subverting of ‘fair chase’ rules, and corruption within permit and licensing schemes. The chapter argues that the legal and the illegal exist side by side and also examines the poor regulation of such sports such that regulatory problems and inadequacies allow the continued exploitation of animals in a manner that legal systems often fail to deal with adequately. The chapter also examines animal ‘sports’ such as bull-fighting which largely depend on violence towards animals and the spectacle of seeing an ostensibly ‘wild’ animal ‘competing’ in activities alongside humans.

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This chapter explores the links between non-human animal abuse and interpersonal violence with a specific focus on the extent to which harm caused to wildlife may be an indicator of violent tendencies and a predictor of future violence. Experts estimate that from 48 percent to 71 percent of battered women have pets who also have been abused or killed and the link between domestic animal abuse and human violence is widely recognised by scholars and law enforcement professionals. This chapter focuses on the violence inherent in hunting and poaching. The chapter speculates as to the link concerning violence towards wildlife and the extent to which wild animal abuse can indicate a propensity or inclination towards other forms of violence.

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Are there only crimes against humanity (Derrida, 2002)? Certainly not. And Wildlife Criminology aims to expose the range of crimes against non-humans that are overlooked, ignored, and hidden and argues for an expansion of the criminological gaze to include harms against wildlife. This chapter examines the future of wildlife criminology in relation to each of the chapter topics to demonstrate the wealth of research that is possible, which can challenge the exploitation and suffering that is a fundamental feature of many aspects of our societies. This chapter revisits wildlife as property, food (and other ‘products’), sport, reflectors of violence, and victims of human violence as well as their plight to achieve rights and justice. There is much more research and advocacy to be done to improve the lives of wildlife and the health of the planet, this chapter ends with thoughts on some of what can be done.

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This chapter examines the notion that human violence has its origins in the violence evident in our evolutionary history. The prevailing wisdom is that wildlife are themselves violent and when humans act violently they are behaving like ‘animals’. The exploration covers examples of violence by wildlife, including murder by chimpanzees, and rape by elephants. In contrast, the chapter also provides examples of altruism in wildlife, which counters the notion of human compassion as one of the exceptional characteristics setting us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. The chapter aims to further challenge anthropocentric legislation by exemplifying common characteristics between wildlife and humans and in so doing set the scene for further chapters’ exploration of the legal personhood of wildlife.

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