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Animal Studies Journal

Abstract

This paper considers the use of drones in animal advocacy and aims to provide a moral and political justification for their use. We focus on animal protection groups who fly drones over farms to take pictures and videos of the way animals are used in agriculture and who then share these images publicly with a view to changing either consumer behaviour, the laws which regulate animal agriculture, or both. We identify unique moral issues associated with drone use and provide an argument to support their use in animal protection, in the ways spearheaded by Will Potter and other animal advocates worldwide. We then analyse privacy issues associated with drone use and consider whether the potential harms outweigh the benefits. We conclude that while privacy concerns are legitimate, they do not outweigh the public good generated by drones. Moreover, animal advocates can easily manage those concerns. Finally, we illustrate our argument in practice with a recent case study from Australia.

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