WORKSHOP 2: Jonathan Birch: Animal Sentience and the Precautionary Principle
7:30 PM, Wednesday 27 Jun 2018 (2 hours)
Université du Québec à Montréal - DS-R510
In debates about animal sentience, the precautionary principle is often invoked. The idea is that when the evidence of sentience is inconclusive, we should “give the animal the benefit of the doubt” or “err on the side of caution” in formulating animal protection legislation. Yet there remains confusion as to what “applying the precautionary principle” means in practice regarding the burden of proof for animal sentience. I have recently developed a version of the precautionary principle tailored to the question of animal sentience and a practical framework for implementing it. In this talk, I explain and defend the basic proposal, discuss some of its potential applications, and consider some ways of revising and improving it in light of critical responses.
Birch, Jonathan (2017) Animal sentience and the precautionary principle. Animal Sentience 16(1)