BCS Mediation Blog

Mediation News and Comment

Mediate to Release Captive Animals in Danger

During periods of extreme heat and cold, we often hear of the suffering of vulnerable people – homeless, the elderly, terminally ill people. Unnoticed by many, as the summer wears on, animals in captivity will suffer too – in silence and without relief. Mediation is on hand to offer solutions for the plight of animals kept in dangerous conditions. Mediators work with groups concerned about the welfare of animals, but also the owners of zoos or circuses and other organizations that keep animals (especially animals for display), to come to an agreement about how animals should be housed, where they should be released and who pays for the care of the animals.

In one example from the news, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to investigate Wilson’s Wildlife Park in Frederick County, Virginia over allegations that bears are overheating in inadequate conditions. PETA claims it has photographs and video evidence of the mistreatment. It points out that Wilson’s Wildlife Park has been repeatedly cited for failing to meet the minimum requirements of the Animal Welfare Act, including inadequate caging for dangerous animals.

Mediation addresses the lack of incentives and regulations for animals to be treated fairly. A patchwork of regulations for animals in captivity is often not enough to compel keepers at wildlife sanctuaries to obey regulations. From gaps in the Animal Welfare Act that don’t cover the use of bull hooks, whips and electrical shocks, to infrequent USDA inspections, protection of animals in captivity is often left to state laws. Some states for example, ban wild animals in captivity, others do not. Mediation can be a powerful tool to negotiate for the release of wild animals that are being mistreated, when litigation would prove difficult or inappropriate. Mediation may work with local authorities or sanctuaries to relocate or rehouse animals, or with private benefactors who are prepared to pay for animals’ care. Mediation maintains that no animal should be without adequate care, and no dispute is intractable.

At Boileau Conflict Solutions we negotiate for the release of captive animals as part of our animal rights mediation practice. We are a group of caring, well-educated mediators who can tactically provide solutions to current or ongoing problems or intervene in crisis – including where there is violence. We aim to fairly consider all important values, including the interests of animals. We believe it’s possible to provide conflict resolution that works towards a consensus in which animal and human interests are both fairly represented. We employ knowledge and techniques that we have developed from our research in game theory, psychoanalysis, communications theory, economics, and the law. We use a collaborative team approach and can quickly and efficiently analyze a conflict problem in order to develop effective solution sets for resolution. We are available at urgent notice, 7 days a week for a free consultation via phone, skype or zoom. Alternatively you can visit our offices in Campbell, CA, Irvine, CA and Boulder, CO.

Please contact us today to see how we can help.

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