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Zoo Logic

May 9, 2024

Following a recent industry webinar, we asked ethicist, Dr. Raymond Anthony and veterinarian and researcher, Dr. Dave Miller to weigh in on the subject of using hormone therapy to curb aggressive behavior in managed settings. Under what conditions and to what extent is modifying animal behavior through pharmacology, specifically hormones or their synthetic analogs, an acceptable practice?  Is there an ethical difference between acute and chronic use, especially when the drug in question is used "off label" or may not have been studied in the species for which its use is intended? Importantly, what sort of ethical framework should facilities employ before this approach to managing animal behavior, social well-being, reproduction or long term contraception is utilized?

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