Birch’s criterion for the precautionary principle imposes a high evidential standard that many cases will fail to meet. Reliable, relevant anecdotal evidence suggestive of animal sentience should also to fall within the scope of the precautionary principle. This would minimize potential suffering (as happened in the case cephalopods) while further evidence is gathered.

Author Biography

Heather Browning is a zookeeper and PhD candidate in the School of Philosophy at the Australian National University, working on conceptual and methodological issues in the measurement of subjective animal welfare. philrsss.anu.edu.au/profile/heather-browning