In a move beyond any other country in the world, Luxembourg has put forth a bill that would offer the most far reaching recognition of rights and protections of animals yet seen on a national level. The bill will go to Luxembourg’s parliament and, if it passes, will recognize animals as “living non-human sentient beings with a nervous system scientifically capable of feeling pain and experiencing other emotions” like “suffering and anguish,” and create protections and penalties for violations. Unfortunately, some are left out of many protections: farm animals.

What would the law do?
  • Ban the slaughter of animals for the primary use of fur, wool, feathers, or skin
  • Male chicks will no longer be allowed to be slaughtered by the poultry industry for their inability to lay eggs
  • Sales of cats and dogs will be limited to reputable breeders
  • Ban the use of animals as a prize or gift
  • Harsh consequences of violating the law: up to $227,000 and three years in jail for the most egregious offenses
What’s left out?

All too common with animal protection rules and laws, further protections for farm animals are left out of Luxembourg’s bill. It seems the desire for meat outweighs the feelings of these sentient and feeling beings.The large industries and powerful lobbies in agriculture and meat production may have something to do with the lack of protections for farm animals as well.

Although the United States has laws banning dog fighting and laying out rules for slaughterhouses, there is no federal law that recognizes animals’ rights in general. In many countries around the world, no protections exist for animals at all. If and when this bill becomes law, it will be a positive evolution of humanity and our presence in the world and hopefully indicative of a larger shift.

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