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Human-Nonhuman Animal Relationships in Australia: An Overview of Results from the First National Survey and Follow-up Case Studies 2000-2004

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This paper provides an overview of results from an Australian Research Council-funded project "Sentiments and Risks: The Changing Nature of Human-Animal Relations in Australia." The data discussed come from a survey of 2000 representative Australians at the capital city, state, and rural regional level. It provides both a snapshot of the state of involvement of Australians with nonhuman animals and their views on critical issues: ethics, rights, animals as food, risk from animals, native versus introduced animals, hunting, fishing, and companionate relations with animals. Its data point to key trends and change. The changing position of animals in Australian society is critical to understand, given its historic export markets in meat and livestock, emerging tourism industry with its strong wildlife focus, native animals' place in discourses of nation, and the centrality of animal foods in the national diet. New anxieties about risk from animal-sourced foods and the endangerment of native animals from development and introduced species, together with tensions between animals' rights and the privileging of native species, contribute to the growth of a strongly contested animal politics in Australia.

Affiliations: 1: University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


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