Zoo Veterinarians: Governing Care on a Diseased Planet
by Irus Braverman
Despite their centrality to the operation of contemporary accredited zoo and aquarium institutions, the work of zoo veterinarians has rarely been the focus of a critical analysis in the social science and humanities. Drawing on in-depth interviews and observations of zoo and aquarium veterinarians, mainly in Europe and North America, this book highlights the recent transformation that has occurred in the zoo veterinarian profession during a time of ecological crisis, and what these changes can teach us about our rapidly changing planet.
Zoo vets, Braverman instructs us with a wink, have “gone wild.” Originally an individual welfare-centered profession, these experts are increasingly concerned with the sustainability of wild animal populations and with ecological health. The story of zoo vets going wild―in their subjects of care, their motivations, and their ethical standards, as well as in their professional practices and scientific techniques―is also a story about zoo animals gone wild, wild animals encroaching the zoo, and, more generally, a wild world that is becoming “zoo-ified.” Such transformations have challenged existing veterinary standards and practices. Exploring the regulatory landscape that governs the work of zoo and aquarium veterinarians, Braverman traverses the gap between the hard and soft sciences and between humans and nonhumans.
At the intersection of animal studies, socio-legal studies, and science and technology studies, this book will appeal not only to those interested in zoos and in animal welfare, but also to scholars in the posthumanities.