Animal/Human Studies Group (AHSG)
The study of animal-human relations within the social sciences is an increasingly important, vibrant and burgeoning field. The formation of the BSA Animal/Human Studies Group in June 2006 is therefore an important step towards addressing what Bryant (1979) has called the 'zoological connection', whereby sociologists need to recognise that people co-exist and interact not only with humans but with non-human animals too. For example, animals are increasingly utilised and involved in biotechnology and genomics; animal experimentation; the production and slaughter of food animals; companion animal-human type relationships and the therapeutic use of animals. Moreover, additional animal-related issues that have attracted attention by researchers are: the potential links between animal abuse and domestic violence; the nature of animal-animal interaction; potential links between women, nature and animals; bestiality; human-wildlife interactions; and human responses to companion animal death/euthanasia. Sociologists have much to offer this emerging area of study and are well placed to engage with the multifaceted, ambiguous and challenging nature of the animal-human interface in everyday life.