We welcome France's recognition of animal sentience

01/29/2015

Recent amendments to French Civil Law have modified the classification of animals from ‘personal property’ to ‘living beings gifted with sentience’.

“We wholeheartedly congratulate France on the passage of the new amendment which formally establishes what we already know in our hearts: animals are ‘living, sentient beings' that deserve protection."

On January 28th, 2015, the French National Assembly voted in favor of an amendment which modified Civil Law in the country. In response to the move to recognize the sentience of animals, Mike Baker, Chief Executive of World Animal Protection said:

“We wholeheartedly congratulate France on the passage of the new amendment which formally establishes what we already know in our hearts: animals are ‘living, sentient beings' that deserve protection.

Recognizing that animals can feel pain and distress is an important step in preventing their suffering. This vote by the French Assembly will help ensure that animals are able to have a good life.”

The full practical implication of such a change in law remains to be seen, but it is expected to have positive impact on animals’ lives in many areas – from agricultural production to animals in entertainment.

Read more about our work towards making animal protection recognized at a global level here and see how you can help.