Animal ethics organization launched by Brock University professor

A first-of-its-kind institute to lead research, education and advocacy for animal ethics worldwide has been launched by Brock University professor David Fennell.

Based on an interdisciplinary approach, the International Institute for Animal Ethics (IIAE) focuses on how moral knowledge and best practice can stimulate change in the use of animals primarily in the tourism industry, along with other related contexts.

“When we place only instrumental value on animals, reducing them to objects of commerce and entertainment, we concede that suffering, poor welfare and a lack of respect is acceptable,” said Fennell, a renowned researcher, author and advocate in the areas of ecotourism, and tourism and animal ethics. Fennell is the co-director and co-founder of the IIAE along with Marloes Van de Goor, a Dutch entrepreneur who also works in the field.

A unique aspect of the Institute is that it places emphasis on both research and practice. In support of its mission, IIAE’s programming will include:

  • Developing the widest interdisciplinary network of scholars and professionals around the world who are researching and working in the areas of tourism and animal ethics.
  • Writing curriculum and teaching online courses (for the general public), degree programs for students and offering certificate programs for professionals in the private, governmental and non-profit sectors.
  • Awarding funding for graduate student and other scholarly research in the areas of animal ethics and tourism.
  • Organizing conferences and having a presence at industry events around the world to educate industry leaders and practitioners on best practices.
  • Consulting directly with regulatory bodies such as the World Tourism Organization (WTO) or Ministries of Tourism to help bring about significant policy change around the use of animals in tourism.

“By harnessing the power of existing scholarly research, funding current and future innovative research, educating industry professionals and the general public and being involved in interdisciplinary conferences, IIAE is poised to lead the change on animal ethics,” Fennell said.

IIAE will hold its first major conference June 1-3, 2017 in St. Catharines. Conference registration opens May 2, 2016.

For more information on IIAE, visit

Read more stories in: Featured, News
Tagged with: , ,