Animal legal status as a person or special citizen and basic legal rights


To change the animal’s status into a person or accepting a specific legal position similar to citizenship. Several systems on visionary animal statuses are currently being discussed. They propose animals should be a legal entity with a sort of legal right. It demands a simple mind shift: from a human’s moral obligation to be kind to animals to accepting the animal’s status of being a legal entity of its own. It is slightly more than the concept of animal dignity and inherent value. It addresses and strengthens the obligation of respect to humans. Having the status of a person or something similar to human citizens strengthens the focus on the animal’s position. Without foreseeing specific rights for animals, the legislator will ban more types of animal uses as they breach their dignity and inherent value.


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Idea behind this:
By enlarging the legal position of humans to include – all or only selected species of – animals, the similarities between humans and animals can also be compared and traditional legal positions for humans can be refined and adopted for animals accordingly. Some aspects of having the status of a person or having citizenship fits well with animals and can, as a result, be more easily adopted.



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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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