Interview: Dr Alex Lees | Conservation vs Animal Rights Activism? (01:03:54)

Charlie Moores talks with Dr Alex Lees, Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology at Manchester Metropolitan University about perceived clashes or differences in opinion between conservationists and animal rights activists.

The conversation was triggered by a thoughtful and well-expressed Twitter thread in which Alex wrote that “there are several tropes of animal rights activism which clash with conservation goals“, going on to list, for example, trophy hunting, invasive species, and zoos. Charlie’s response to that thread was that you could equally say that there were conservation tropes that clashed with animal rights goals, There is of course more overlap between conservationists and animal advocates than those sentences might suggest, and in the following conversation Charlie and Alex discuss issues that both divide and unite them – including a shared passion for wildlife and a desire for more nuanced conversations to take place in what has become a rather fraught area of discussion.

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Off The Leash Podcast #14 (51:02)

Last week was notable for three things: an alpaca named Geronimo, a report that led the UN secretary-general António Guterres, to call it a “code red for humanity”, and the unfolding tragedy in Afghanistan. We discuss all three. We also have a shortcast from veterinary scientist Iain McGill (who has done so much work exposing the government’s failed ‘test and slaughter’ BovineTB policy), and raw audio from Dominic on the ‘Rescue the Animal Rescuers’ campaign. Charlie has a close look at a petition which it turns out wants ‘animal rights protestors’ kept off farms. In Heroes and Villains we praise the animal welfare teams working in Kabul, and slate the politicians that made such a mess of last week. In our ‘Shoutout’ we give the link to donate to Nowzad, Pen Farthing’s animal rescue centre in Afghanistan.

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GOTL : Dominic Dyer | Rescue the Animal Rescuers (08:03)

As the Taliban closes in on Kabul and an emergency evacuation begins before the city falls, an urgent campaign “Rescue the Animal Rescuers” has been established to call on the Prime Minister and British Government to include on the British Rescue list, vets, vet nurses, animal care staff and their immediate family members, who are working for two British animal welfare charities in Kabul, Nowzad and the Mayhew.

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GOTL: Iain McGill | Geronimo and Defra’s TB Test (12:31)

“Geronimo has shone a light into the deep, dark and murky mire of bovine TB policy…trying to kill one’s way out of trouble was never going to work”
Highly-respected veterinary scientist Dr Iain McGill, Director of the Prion Group and a TB specialist, has been working with Helen McDonald to assist in her battle with Defra over the proposed slaughter of Geronimo the Alpaca, condemned to death because of an inaccurate bovine TB test which Iain says is part of an outdated ‘vicious test and slaughter’ policy that doesn’t work and needs to be replaced immediately.

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GOTL: Jack Wootton | Forgotten Fish Project (05:36)

A shortcast with Jack Wootton, the founder of the Forgotten Fish Project, which to quote from their website “focuses on a forgotten species that once played an amazingly integral role in our freshwater ecosystems”. That forgotten species – the European Eel – was once abundant but is now – amazingly – Critically Endangered, one step away from extinction

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