Authors
Franck Meijboom
Utrecht University
Frans Brom
Utrecht University
Abstract
European animal disease policy seems to find its justification in a “harm to other” principle. Limiting the freedom of animal keepers—e.g., by culling their animals—is justified by the aim to prevent harm, i.e., the spreading of the disease. The picture, however, is more complicated. Both during the control of outbreaks and in the prevention of notifiable, animal diseases the government is confronted with conflicting claims of stakeholders who anticipate running a risk to be harmed by each other, and who ask for government intervention. In this paper, we first argue that in a policy that aims to prevent animal diseases, the focus shifts from limiting “harm” to weighing conflicting claims with respect to “risks of harm.” Therefore, we claim that the harm principle is no longer a sufficient justification for governmental intervention in animal disease prevention. A policy that has to deal with and distribute conflicting risks of harm needs additional value assumptions that guide this process of assessment and distribution. We show that currently, policies are based on assumptions that are mainly economic considerations. In order to show the limitations of these considerations, we use the interests and position of keepers of backyard animals as an example. Based on the problems they faced during and after the recent outbreaks, we defend the thesis that in order to develop a sustainable animal disease policy other than economic assumptions need to be taken into account
Keywords Philosophy   Plant Sciences   Theory of Medicine/Bioethics   Agricultural Economics   Evolutionary Biology   Ethics
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DOI 10.1007/s10806-009-9177-2
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References found in this work BETA

The Concept of Law.Hla Hart - 1961 - Oxford University Press.
Food Safety and Ethics: The Interplay Between Science and Values. [REVIEW]Karsten Klint Jensen & Peter Sandøe - 2002 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 15 (3):245-253.

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Citations of this work BETA

Harm to Others: The Social Cost of Antibiotics in Agriculture.Jonny Anomaly - 2009 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 22 (5):423-435.
Are There Ideological Aspects to the Modernization of Agriculture?Egbert Hardeman & Henk Jochemsen - 2012 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 25 (5):657-674.
A “Practical” Ethic for Animals.David Fraser - 2012 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 25 (5):721-746.

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