The ethics of eliminating harmful species: The case of the Tsetse Fly

Bouyer Jérémy, Carter Neil H., Batavia Chelsea, Nelson Michael Paul. 2019. The ethics of eliminating harmful species: The case of the Tsetse Fly. Bioscience, 69 (2) : pp. 125-135.

Journal article ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
Published version - Anglais
License Licence Creative Commons.

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Quartile : Outlier, Sujet : BIOLOGY

Abstract : Wildlife species harmful to humans are often targets of control and elimination programs. A contemporary example is the tsetse fly, a vector of sleeping sickness and African animal trypanosomosis. Tsetse flies have recently been targeted by a pan-African eradication campaign. If it is successful, the campaign could push the entire tsetse family to extinction. With the emergence of effective and efficient elimination technologies, ethical assessment of proposed elimination campaigns is urgently needed. We examine the ethics of tsetse fly elimination by considering arguments predicated on both the instrumental and the intrinsic values of the species at local and global scales. We conclude that, although global eradication of tsetse flies is not ethically justified, localized elimination campaigns targeting isolated populations are ethically defensible. We urge assessments of this kind be conducted regularly and in context, so that all relevant factors underlying decisions on species elimination are routinely laid bare for evaluation.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Éthique, Éradication des maladies, Lutte antiravageur, Glossina, Glossinidae, Lâcher d'insectes stériles, Trypanosomose, Chaîne alimentaire, Impact sur l'environnement

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Afrique

Mots-clés libres : Ethics, Glossinidae, Sleeping sickness, Sterile Insect Technique, Trypanosomosis, Vector control

Classification Agris : L73 - Animal diseases
000 - Other themes
P01 - Nature conservation and land resources

Champ stratégique Cirad : CTS 2 (2019-) - Transitions agroécologiques

Agence(s) de financement européenne(s) : European Commission

Programme de financement européen : H2020

Projet(s) de financement européen(s) : Revolutionizing Insect Control

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Bouyer Jérémy, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR ASTRE (AUT) ORCID: 0000-0002-1913-416X
  • Carter Neil H., Boise State University (USA) - auteur correspondant
  • Batavia Chelsea, Oregon State University (USA)
  • Nelson Michael Paul, Oregon State University (USA)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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