Animals find their nest in the Constitution and animal dignity and inherent value is present in the whole legislation


Modern legislation on animals is not only based on the animal’s interest not to suffer, it also treats animals with respect by accepting their inherent value and dignity. Animal welfare legislation enlarges its goal into it. It also continually shortens the list of ‘legalized animal mistreatments’ concerning the Big Five and foresees and describes bans for using animals for undignified purposes. The status of animals between humans and objects in civil law is changed by the nation with the details per field (lost and found animals, divorce, buying and selling, liability and emotional value etc.) required. The nation also foresees the animal issue as a national interest and the state’s duty to get it to Constitutional level.


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Idea behind this:
The animal issue is a fast-growing interest in many parts of the world. Irrespective of where the animal is born, its interest in having a good life is the same. Animal issues are brought into the Constitution either with regard to the animal’s interest not to suffer unnecessarily or with regard to its dignity or inherent value. By doing this, it allows the state to balance the animal’s position with the basic rights of animal owners and users in relation to property, economic freedom, religion and liberty. It declares animal issues as a state’s duty that can support the law making and law enforcement process. This can also be in favor of the animal and the support can foresee that adequate funding flows into animal-related issues in addition to research funded by the animal users’ organizations. Unifying animal legislation nationally allows animal-friendly rules at local or district level to be brought in at national (or federal) level. This avoids industries moving to the legally weakest locations. A range of the industrialized housing systems are from an ethological and veterinarian point of view not animal-friendly, even when used properly. This especially applies to farming and animal experiments. Even when law enforcement on animal mistreatment is not applied properly, the list of legally allowed animal-unfriendly housing systems is getting shorter each year and about to lead to a ban of such systems. The legislator enlarges his focus to accept an animal’s inherent value and dignity in addition to just preventing cruelty. With this step, not only will all the “Big Five” be under the state’s responsibility but all the invertebrates as well. The capability to scientifically prove an invertebrate’s suffering is often doubtful. Their abuse however, when killed or hurt on purpose, is to be looked at from an ethical as well as a legal point of view when numbers are high. A democratic decision has to be taken for balancing the various interests of the animal users, the consumers, society as a whole and the animal’s interests. This must also come with the option to enlarge the view of society to form a new human-animal relationship.



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Item information:

Level: National
Goal: Adoption
Item: Adopting national laws where none exist (from anti-cruelty to pro-dignity legislation)

Contribution made by
AFG - 07.07.2014

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