A landmark court decision in New Zealand has set a precedent that other countries would do well to follow:
The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, passed last month, extends all animals similar rights as any other living creature. Citing that the animals can feel and think, it provides a new paradigm in how to deal with animal cruelty cases, as well as animal testing and research.
Animal rights activists are celebrating the decision, saying that “Animals are sentient is to state explicitly that they can experience both positive and negative emotions, including pain and distress. The explicitness is what is new and marks another step along the animal welfare journey.”
Doctor Steve Merchant, president of the New Zealand Veterinary Association, said the bill brings greater clarity, transparency, and enforceability of animal welfare laws, saying:
“Expectations on animal welfare have been rapidly changing, and practices that were once commonplace for pets and farm stock are no longer acceptable or tolerated. The bill brings legislation in line with our nation’s changing attitude on the status of animals in society.”
You can read the bill in its entirety here
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Check out the article that inspired this one here