Q&A: Predator-free NZ's tricky ethical issues

Jamie Morton
NZ Herald, 19 September 2017

We know that New Zealand's new target of wiping out pest predators by 2050 will demand more money, more efforts, and more technology. But how do we tackle the tricky ethical questions that the predator-free mission raises?

How do we decide what an invasive species is, or whether they pose a threat, and will the new tools we need to do the job be accepted by Kiwis?

Now, a philosopher and a conservation biologist, both from the University of Auckland, have teamed up to lead a new panel focused on the "bio-ethics" of the 2050 goal. Dr Emily Parke , who specialises in the philosophy of science and biology, joins conservation biologist Dr James Russell to head the panel of 11 people, among them experts in genetics, law, indigenous world views and ecology, a hunter and a psychologist. The panel is advising on social and ethical issues thrown up by the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge-funded project "High Tech Solutions to Invasive Mammal Pest Control".

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