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    "Modern goals need modern tools, revised models, and  up-to-date laws"

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    Evolving law beyond just protecting animals from cruelty

Providing shade is an example of positive animal welfare where the animal can make a CHOICE about what it finds more comfortable, interesting or pleasurable. With positive animal welfare law, the provision of shade would foreseeably be one of a suite of changes that make a pragmatic beneficial difference to the daily life experience of animals.
The science of the Five Domains validates what most people inherently know – animals experience pain AND pleasure.

Law reform begins with recognising that existing law is unfit for today’s society, expectations and needs.

The problem we are focused on is today’s outdated animal-law rulebook, which underpins every practice, every standard, and every use of animals.

It is the animal-law rulebook that shapes public attitudes about animals, decides what people’s treatment of animals are legally permissible or not, and it’s the rulebook that permits-and-perpetuates widespread animal practices to the dismay, disappointment and frustration of those people and organisations advocating for better standards of animal welfare.

Existing anti-cruelty law asserts

  • "animals are capable of feeling and experiencing ("sentient") negative states ("suffering"); so
  • people in charge of animals have a responsibility ("duty of care") to
  • refrain from acts or omissions that cause an animal to suffer unnecessarily

The 3-word law reform would update the law so that it asserts

  • "animals are capable of feeling and experiencing ("sentient") negative states ("suffering") AND POSITIVE STATES; so
  • people in charge of animals have a responsibility ("duty of care") to
  • refrain from acts or omissions that cause an animal to suffer unnecessarily AND provide animals with access to comforts, interests and pleasure.

Legal reform: For law that applies a responsibility for an animal's experience of pain AND its pleasure.

The 3-word law reform advocated by SAL

In its most basic form, this law reform can be viewed as a 3 word law reform. The current law applies legal responsibilities to the human caregiver regarding the sentient animals negative states ("anti-cruelty law). The law reform makes people responsible for the sentient animal's negative states "AND positive states".

There are a number of pathways to achieving the necessary law reform. The Sentient Animal Law Foundation is focused on aligning with decision-makers in organisations whose objectives, activities and responsibilities involve standards of animal welfare.

The positive animal welfare law reform seeks to implement the steps set out below. The reform is relevant to governments, NGO's and any organisation seeking to ensure that existing laws are fit for modern world purposes.

If you could change ONE thing about how animals are treated, what would it be?

With a 3-word law reform, you can

Business as usual OR an updated law that's fit for modern world needs, risks and opportunities?

Law's sentient animal is at a legal crossroads.

Down Path A is "business as usual" and perpetuation of law that operates on basic minimums. It is unfit for a recovering planet, consumer expectations, or resolving existing global animal-related issues - but it's the known, and there are strong voices who resist the uncertainty and cost of "change".

Down Path B is positive animal welfare law.

For those seeking to elevate standards of sentient animal welfare, there are two critical lessons to recognise:

  1. Simply explicitly recognising animals as sentient in legislation predictably fails to result in pragmatic change. The Treaty of Lisbon and New Zealand's 2015 Amendment to its animal welfare legislation both recognised animals as sentient and both failed to define sentience by reference to the animal's negative and positive states. They both stand as examples of good intentions that failed to result in pragmatic changes to the daily lives of animals.
  2. Meaningful change requires an evolution of the duty of care (i.e. legally enforceable responsibility). Positive animal welfare law doesn't do away with existing duties to prevent animal cruelty, it extends the current duty by obligating the human caregiver to also provide animals with opportunities to experience positive states.

Would you like us to show you how this applies to you at your next conference, webinar or any other similar event?

We would be delighted to talk with decision-makers in government, corporates, non-government organisations that are involved with animal-related activities. For example, we can address:

  • the predictable pathways and outcomes,
  • contrasting stakeholder risk/benefits, and
  • how this singular reform has impacts on government responsibilities, the objectives of animal advocates, and international programs that affective the well-being of people and animals.