This section contains information on animal protection legislation at a regional, national and international level. It includes useful references to books and resources, contacts and links to Web sites of interest.
This information was compiled primarily to assist animal protection societies seeking to play a role in the introduction or improvement of animal protection laws, or who want to utilise existing animal protection laws to further their work. It provides an overview of existing legislation, including an indication of available 'models', and points the way forward for those seeking a more in-depth analysis.
How to use Animal Protection Legislation
How animal protection organisations can use legislation as a powerful tool in their work to protect animals. This section includes both the introduction and improvement of animal welfare laws, and the use of existing legislation. Lobbying is also covered here.
The Importance of Enforcement
Effective enforcement is vital if existing laws protecting animals are to lead to practical changes in the treatment of animals. Animal protection organisations can influence enforcement mechanisms and assist.
Systems, Structures and Democracy
Covers the use of systems, structures and democratic principles for additional influence. Includes issues such as governmental structures, committees, consultation and procedures.
Individual countries have a wide variety of animal protection legislation. Animal law can beat different levels in the country's governing constitution, national law (primary or secondary) regional/state law or local ordinances. Whilst many countries have comprehensive, modern animal protection legislation, some have yet to reach this stage. There is much that animal protection societies can do to contribute to the introduction and enhancement of animal protection laws in their country.
International legislation, in the form of treaties and conventions, may be made between countries joining an agreement (either international or regional, such as the Council of Europe -see below).
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe comprises 46 European countries at the time of writing – covering a much wider area of Europe than the European Union. Amongst the conventions of the Council of Europe are five on animal welfare, covering pets, animal experimentation, farm animals, animal transport and slaughter.
The European Union
The European Union comprises 25 European member countries. It was established by the EEC Treaty (Treaty of Rome) signed in 1951, with the objective of safeguarding peace and promoting economic and social progress. Essentially, it is about trade and harmonisation of legislation. Thus, there are few measures concerned with the status and welfare of animals. It has also included animal welfare in its founding document.
Useful Books and Other Resources
There are many useful books and information resources on animal protection legislation. Models are invaluable for animal protection societies lobbying for improvement.
Some useful links on animal protection legislation issues.