Recent Legal Changes Influenced By Animal Rights Activists
Regarding the campaign to change the status of animals as property, the animal rights activists have seen success in several countries. In 1992, Switzerland amended its constitution to recognize animals as beings and not things. However, in 1999 the Swiss constitution was completely rewritten. A decade later, Germany guaranteed rights to animals in a 2002 amendment to its constitution, becoming the first European Union member to do so. The German Civil Code had been amended correspondingly in 1997. The amendment, however, has not had much impact in German legal practice yet.
The greatest success of the animal rights activists has certainly been the granting of basic rights to five great ape species in New Zealand in 1999. Their use is now forbidden in research, testing or teaching.(It should be noted that the UK government banned experiments on great apes in 1986 ). Some other countries have also banned or severely restricted the use of non-human great apes in research.
The Seattle-based Great Ape Project (GAP) — founded by Australian philosopher Peter Singer, the author of Animal Liberation, widely regarded as the founding philosophical work of the animal liberation movement — is campaigning for the United Nations to adopt its Declaration on Great Apes, which would see chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orang-utans included in a "community of equals" with human beings. The declaration wants to extend to the non-human apes the protection of three basic interests: the right to life, the protection of individual liberty, and the prohibition of torture (see also Great ape personhood).
Read more about this topic: Animal Law
Famous quotes containing the words rights, legal, influenced and/or animal:
“In our governments the real power lies in the majority of the community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from the acts of government contrary to the sense of the constituents, but from the acts in which government is the mere instrument of the majority.”
—James Madison (17511836)
“In the course of the actual attainment of selfish endsan attainment conditioned in this way by universalitythere is formed a system of complete interdependence, wherein the livelihood, happiness, and legal status of one man is interwoven with the livelihood, happiness, and rights of all. On this system, individual happiness, etc. depend, and only in this connected system are they actualized and secured.”
—Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (17701831)
“The failures of the press have contributed immensely to the emergence of a talk-show nation, in which public discourse is reduced to ranting and raving and posturing. We now have a mainstream press whose news agenda is increasingly influenced by this netherworld.”
—Carl Bernstein (b. 1944)
“All the lies and evasions by which man has nourished himselfcivilization, in a wordare the fruits of the creative artist. It is the creative nature of man which has refused to let him lapse back into that unconscious unity with life which charactizes the animal world from which he made his escape.”
—Henry Miller (18911980)