Rewilding ethics

Rewilding domesticated animals within nature reserve contributed to a reverting debate about ethics and nature management. FREE Nature manages hundred of animals in freely accessible areas and advices on rewilding or de-domesticating feral herds; this ongoing debate lead to many ethical questions.

- Till what stages are animals still owned and from which moment onwards can they be considered wild animals
- How long do we have a responsibility of care for the individual animal during the rewilding process
- How to deal with veterinarian issues; when are diseases part of the natural processes and when do we have to intervene
- How should we guide the animals and get them used to living among predators during the rewilding process
- How do our wishes relate to legal restrictions

Our ethical guideline (in Dutch only) explains our views and positions on such questions. Meanwhile, we as managers, but also the public, get more and more experience with the behaviour of wild herds. What we outline here is part of an ongoing discussion and process of learning.