Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
RN12_10b: Human-Animal Relations
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Peter Oosterveer, Wageningen University
Location: BS.3.22
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road

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From Fear to Festivity: The Case of Human-Elephant Conflict and Conservation in Odisha, India

Medha Nayak, Dr. Pranaya Kumar Swain

National Institute of Science Education and Research, India

Humans and elephants have shared social, historical and ecological relations for ages. However, their coexistence has not been as pleasant as one would like that to be. Researchers suggest that the socio-economic changes over the years have altered the bonds between them. They are in regular confrontations that makes it difficult to protect wildlife in areas prone to human-elephant conflict (HEC) because the real and/or perceived costs of living with wildlife can be greater than conservation benefits, reducing residents’ incentives to conserve wildlife, and threat to wildlife is high where perceived livelihood risks are higher. Despite the government’s interventions to mitigate HEC and curb intolerance against elephant depredation by providing ex-gratia to aid the affected families, organizing awareness campaigns, training workshops, introducing defensive technologies, demarcating elephant corridors, etc, the frequency and intensity of HEC refuse to wither away. Social sciences and humanities have often ignored the agency of animals in research but now there is a need and shift to include the presence and effect of animals for the development of inclusive approaches to attain long term conservation goals. With this at the backdrop, we tried to understand different stakeholders’ perceptions of elephants, their responses to elephant-related problems and future of human-elephants conservation and coexistence in Balasore district of Odisha that is affected by resident elephants and migratory elephants from neighbouring states year after year. Consequently, the findings were used to suggest participatory and community-based conservation and mitigation strategies.

(key words: Human-Elephant Conflict , livelihood, conservation, coexistence)

Children-Animals Relationships And The Critical Debate About Sustainable Development

Verónica Policarpo, Teresa Líbano Monteiro, Monica Truninger, Ana Nunes de Almeida, Leonor Rodrigues

Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa

Non-human animals seem to be quite absent from the critical debate about sustainable development, with none of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) making any explicit reference to them. And while one might say that they are indirectly considered, as some of the goals (namely number 15) refer the need to protect “wild life” and “threatened species”, the major rationale that cross-cuts the SDGs is predominantly human-centred. In this presentation, we aim at bringing non-human animals to this debate, through the angle of their relationships with children. We ask if these relationships contribute to forge ways of relating to the non-human world that are more inclusive. We argue that the affective practices between children and pets, of embodied meaning-making, are crucial to the formation of knowledge, skills, understandings and engagements tuned in with other species' welfare. These are, in turn, condition for promoting more egalitarian interspecies relations, and mutual well-being. We reflect on how children and animals’ relationships may help to problematize the concept of sustainability. By addressing how inter-species solidarity is built, from early age; by exploring how the well-being of humans and non-humans is guaranteed, alongside their fundamental rights; and by extending this debate to inter-species relations, following a more-than-human perspective that challenges anthropocentrism and takes into account, as a goal for sustainable development, the agency of non-human animals.

Sardinian Shepherds Facing To The Global Market, Between Resilience Strategies And Struggles For A Fair Sheep-milk Price

Domenica Farinella

University of Messina, Italy

This paper is based on an ethnographic research (with also in-depth interviews) on the change in contemporary Sardinian pastoralism (Italy). The Sardinian pastoralism is a privileged setting to observe how the marginal areas rural resist to the pressure of the global agri-food chains and to the agricultural squeeze. The Sardinian sheep-dairy chain is focused on the industrial production of the “Pecorino Romano”, a low-cost cheese for export to the US, where the Romano is used by food industry as grated cheese. I analyse the change in the traditional model of Mediterranean pastoralism (based on natural graze and extensive breeding) facing to the global market and the high volatility of the sheep-milk price, focusing on the resilient strategies to survive and resist to the marginalization (e.g. the role of informality, family, immigrant work, traditional way to manage environment). The sheep-farm is a family business able to be straddling two worlds: the market-oriented farm (producing commodities for the market at the lowest cost) and the peasant farm, aimed at reproducing and conserving its productive factors. However, the resilient factors of the traditional agro-pastoral model are increasingly being eroded by the push towards modernization and the global market (where the shepherds are dependent and subaltern). This is evident in the singular ongoing struggle in Sardinia (that is unprecedented in past struggles). Since the beginning of February 2019, the shepherds in all part of the island are throwing the sheep milk on the street to protest against the low price (€0.50).

Exploring the Human-Dog Bond: How Police Dog Handlers and General Purpose Dogs Develop a Bond Through Training.

Harriet Smith1, Mara Miele1, Nickie Charles2, Rebekah Fox2

1Cardiff University, United Kingdom; 2Warwick University, United Kingdom

Police dog handlers are trained to control their dogs and to work together with them in challenging front line policing. This is an intense working partnership which depends on a strong bond. The police dog training practices that we examined show that distinct roles and attributes become blurred through the attachment between the police handler and the dog. However, this bond also enfolds their multispecies relating and is essential to the fulfilment of their police dog-handler roles.

In this paper we present a visual ethnographic account documenting the developing bond between trainee police dog handlers and general purpose police dogs .

We explore how dog emotions, particularly whether they are having ‘fun’, are read and elicited by handlers and how they are key to the police-human-dog dyad. We discuss the value of visual multispecies ethnography in research that aims to be attentive to questioning more-than-human emotion.

Through a visual analysis of the role of fun in training, we demonstrate how translations of feeling and experience are enmeshed into circuits of actions that become valued police work. Our paper concludes by exploring the value for the dog in having fun within this biopolitical framework of governance.

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