Universal Declaration Of Animal Rights

Published a little more than 40 years ago, this declaration states that all species must be respected, not abused, abandoned or exploited for work purposes. Likewise, they should not be subjected to pain or exploitation for the entertainment of humans.
Universal Declaration Of Animal Rights
Francisco María García

Written and verified by the lawyer Francisco María García.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

On October 1978, a group of animal lovers wrote the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights. However, few people know what this international document is about.

If this legal document was followed, some practices such as elephant hunting for ivory would not exist. Man, blinded by their greed, forgets that other species also have rights.

This bill of rights has 14 very explicit articles, which explain the priveledges of living beings. If you haven’t heard of this declaration, then you can take at some details below.

Articles 1 and 2: the right to life and respect

Like humans, every animal has the right to life and existence. However, at the top of this Article 2 also states that all species have the right to respect.

This implies that human beings have no right to exterminate or exploit other species. On the contrary, humanity must use its resources to protect animals.

Therefore, all scientific advances should be intended for the protection and benefit of other species. This forces humans to become the protectors of the planet.

Dog sitting in the grass

Universal Declaration of Animal Rights: ill-treatment and freedom

This declaration states that all animals have dignity and no one can subject them to abuse, torture, or pain. In the same vein of the declaration, it highlights that the only option to sacrifice an animal is for the survival purposes.

But even under this, human beings must act with moderation and consideration towards the animal. Therefore, death should be instantaneous, painless, and must not cause the animal to suffer.

Likewise, taking the dignity of the species into consideration, the declaration establishes the right to freedom. Animals have the right to live freely in their natural habitat. In addition, humans must protect the animals’ ability to reproduce.

They Also Have Workers’ Rights

Articles 5, 6, and 7 establish more complex rights for all animals. In principle, humans should not modify the life of any species for commercial purposes. This alteration of their livelihood is a crime.

The Universal Declaration of Animal Rights also establishes rights for pets. Owners have the responsibility of protecting their pets and cannot abandon them. Abandonment constitutes endangering them.

In addition, humans cannot exploit animals to use them for work purposes. Animals should 0nly work a reasonable amount of time and they shall be subject to a reasonable workload.  Also, owners must provide their animals with a proper diet and give them breaks.

Milk cows eating some feed

Animals Must Not Feel Any Pain

The Universal Declaration of Animal Rights states that even within food production, animals should be protected from pain. Likewise, medical, scientific and commercial experimentation should never cause the specimens discomfort.

On farms, farmers must nourish their animals by allowing them to grow and transport them painlessly. Also, their animals shall not feel any pain or suffering during the slaughtering process.

The problem is that these processes are not always verified by government authorities. There is no international authority that’s capable of denouncing animal cruelty. Some countries don’t even control livestock farmers.

Exploitation for Human Entertainment is Unacceptable

Article 10 states that exploitation of animals for entertainment purposes is illegal because it goes against the dignity of the animal.

In the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights, Article 11 states that humans shall never kill animals for no reason at all. Killing animals is a crime. Article 12 criminalizes mass death of animals in the wild. In addition, it is stated that every dead animal must be treated with respect.

As you can see, the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights is based on the protecting animals. The last article confirms this by discussing the protection of their rights.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.