Animal Rights and Protection Laws - Future Challenges

21 December, 2019
The advancement of animal rights and protection laws is undeniable, there's still a long way to go, however. Regulations are key both for animals in captivity and for wild ones. We'd like to tell you more about this subject in today's article as it's always relevant.
Despite the progress in regard to animal rights and protection laws, it’s quite evident that there’s still a long way to go before we have a society where these prevail. We still need to move towards being a society that respects animals. Also, we must be aware of the logic behind ethical and sustainable production. The good news is public policies have indeed evolved greatly in recent decades.
Some critical points currently stand out as major challenges when it comes to animal rights. For instance, most of the protection laws sort of focus on cute domestic animals. They leave aside both wildlife and factory farming.
It’s also true that each country must face its own challenges depending on its traditions and legal structures, its culture, its logic of consumption, its education and the socioeconomic status of its inhabitants, among other factors. Bullfighting is an example of this.
Below, we’ll analyze the most common challenges we must overcome in the upcoming years in regard to animal protection. What direction is the animal rights movement going in? How should our representatives respond?

The future of animal rights and protection laws – beyond domestic animals

A bull and a bullfighter.
As we mentioned before, one of the biggest challenges of animal rights and protection laws in the future will be to overcome myths and concepts about the “function” of certain species. These animals are an important part of our culture and we even identify through them in many cases.
Humans tend to empathize with companion animals due to our mutual emotional proximity. And, it’s clear that certain animals are mere “natural resources” for us.
This difference in how we treat the various species is quite evident in the legal field. For instance, a law proposes to give special judicial status for companion animals so they cease to be legally considered property and are recognized instead as sentient beings.
However, this is the same country where thousands of animals spend their entire lives caged in unfortunate conditions and hunting continues to be a regulated recreational activity. These are just examples of how the concept of animal protection and advances in the battle against abuse mainly focus on pets.
In this regard, overcoming the notion that certain animals solely exist as resources for humans is a complex but urgent and necessary challenge.
If we don’t change this paradigm then it’ll be very difficult to advance animal rights and protection laws for all wildlife and farmed animals. Also, it’ll be nearly impossible to obtain a change in legal status that can apply to every species.

Animal rights and protection laws – different but equally important challenges

Note that when someone says “animal protection laws,” these don’t necessarily imply the recognition of animal rights. That is, the fact that one is a discipline within the law and professors teach it in universities doesn’t mean that animals have legal rights.
Likewise, these characteristics represent very important challenges in the future of animal protection. In any case, we must continue to promote the teaching of animal law in all universities.
Also, let’s not forget that we’ll need trained professionals who are capable of promoting the creation of new laws. And, these should enable and optimize public policies for animal welfare at a state level. Likewise, why not also promote its inclusion in all basic education programs?
This challenge and advancing in the recognition of the basic rights of animals go hand in hand. In fact, animal law “experts” can make a big difference in the progress of the legal status of animals. This is essential to ensure the equal treatment of all animals, which overcomes its current limitations on pets.

Conclusion

Comprehensive and integral analysis regarding animal welfare is necessary. One that involves every feature of society and determines our relationship with animals. Only then will we cease to have specific policies and controversies, and begin to establish a solid base for a society with ethical and sustainable habits.
  • Proposición de Ley de modificación del Código Civil, la Ley Hipotecaria y la Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil, sobre el régimen jurídico de los animales. 2017. Extraído de: http://www.congreso.es/public_oficiales/L12/CONG/BOCG/B/BOCG-12-B-167-1.PDF
  • Abogacía española. 2019. Retos en materia de protección animal. Extraído de: https://www.abogacia.es/2019/01/18/retos-en-materia-de-proteccion-animal/