Bill of Rights for Pets?
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
A few months back, Trigueros del Valle, a town in Spain with a population of 300, became the first to pass a set of laws that regard cats and dogs as "non-human residents" with equal rights to co-exist alongside their human counterparts.
 
According to Spain newspaper The Local, The Renedo Declaration, which was passed by town mayor Pedro J. Pérez Espinosa, guarantees the rights of dogs and cats as citizens of the town. The animal bill of rights was unanimously approved by the town council and comprises thirteen articles.
 
The articles outline basic tenets against animal cruelty and make statements such as "a resident, whether human or non-human, is entitled to respect" and "no non-human should be exploited for the pleasure or recreation of man." The town also made a move to prohibit bull-fighting by adding in "any action that causes the mutilation or death of a non-human resident."
 
The animal rights group NGO, Rescate 1 praised the passing of The Renedo Declaration as "a great day for humans and non-human citizens alike." When interviewed by VICE on the matter, Andrew Linzey, the Director of the Oxford Centre for Ethics stated, "It is an important step to a more humane world. We are in the middle of a paradigm shift away from the idea that animals are things, tools, machines, commodities, resources for us, [and toward] the idea that all sentient beings have intrinsic value, dignity, and rights."
 
Actions have been taken in other cities and countries to try and get something similar passed. The hope is to prevent cruelty such as abuse, dog fighting, puppy mills, and inhumane conditions at roadside zoos. If you would like to learn more check out these sources for further information:
  • http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/why-animals-need-their-own-bill-of-rights/
  • http://animalbillofrights.aldf.org/
  • http://www.care2.com/causes/a-bill-of-rights-for-animals.html
  • http://www.animalliberationfront.com/Philosophy/BillofRights.htm
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