New York University (NYU) has launched a wild animal welfare program that will help close the research and policy gap that is now mainly focused on domesticated animals.

“The world contains a vast number and a wide diversity of wild animals,” said Becca Franks, a professor in NYU’s Department of Environmental Studies and co-director of the program. “Mammals, birds, fishes, molluscs, and many other animals live in complex, dynamic ecosystems. Human activity is increasingly impacting these ecosystems, along with all the animals within them. These realities raise important questions about wild animal welfare.”

The NYU Wild Animal Welfare Program will aim to advance understanding of what wild animals are like, how humans and wild animals interact, and how humans can improve their interactions with wild animals. In addition, the program will conduct research in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. They will also conduct outreach to academics, advocates, policymakers, and the public.

“Most animal welfare research and policy focuses on domesticated animals, not wild animals,” adds Jeff Sebo, a professor in NYU’s Department of Environmental Studies and co-director of the program. “And most environmental research and policy focuses on species and ecosystems, not individuals. Yet the needs of individual wild animals are different from the needs of individual domesticated animals, as well as from the needs of species and ecosystems.”

Source: Animal Ethics/YouTube

“Trillions of wild animals suffer each year due to farming, fishing, deforestation, development, and other human activities, as well as rising temperatures, ocean acidification, extreme weather, ecosystem collapse, and other effects of human activities,” Sebo added. “And of course, many wild animals also suffer due to illness, injury, and other natural causes, even when their habitats are well-preserved. Learning more about these issues will guide us toward policies that can be good for humans and wild animals at the same time.”

This program will be amazing and, indeed, a step in the right direction. We hope that other universities will take note and follow suit! Care about animals? Here’s an amazing climate change-theme t-shirt made from recycled materials that we think you will just love!

To read more about animal rights in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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