Wild Crimes: The Exploitation of our World's Most Vulnerable Animals

The Wolf Conservation Center hosted Dr. Kim Spanjol on June 11, 2020 at 6 PM EDT for an exploration beyond typical notions of wildlife crime, including broader considerations of interconnected social harms that impact wildlife.

Non-human animals hold the status of property under the law, and many are considered to be exploitable “natural resources”. Human moral attitudes play a significant role in which species are protected and which harms against wildlife are classified as “crimes”. The capitalization and legal exploitation of animals coincides with illegal acts committed against them. Viewing wildlife as something for human exploitation rather than sentient beings with intrinsic value shapes the nature of wildlife protection, the regulation of human-wildlife interaction, and their subsequent victimization. This presentation considers alternative possibilities and the impact these can have on wildlife protection, environmental preservation, and human health.

Additional Resources to Compare Countries and States Ranked by Animal Protection Laws:



Kimberly Spanjol, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA, LMHC is a Criminologist, Licensed and Doctoral Level Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Humane Educator. She holds certifications in Animals and Human Health, Animal Assisted Interventions, and Teaching Mindfulness to Youth. Dr. Spanjol is an educator, researcher, consultant and clinician, currently serving as a professor of criminal justice and sociology at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. She teaches courses in Environmental Crime, Environmental Justice, Species Justice and more. Dr. Spanjol’s areas of specialization are Behavior Modification for Individual and Systems Level Change, Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Social Emotional Learning, Humane Education and the Intersectionality of Social Justice, Ethical Animal-Assisted Therapy and the Human-Animal Bond, Animals and Criminal Justice, and Environmental Criminology.

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