Global Journal of Animal Law

Current Issue (2013-02)


Global Journal of Animal Law

GJAL 2/2013


Animal Laws in a Global Context

The second issue of Global Journal of Animal Law (GJAL) truly has a global imprint. GJAL 2/2013 offers three articles, two surveys and one note coming from Nicaragua, Kazakhstan, Germany and the United States (U.S.). Each pieces reflecting on different issues and questions to animal law; raising fundamental questions on what current animal law is meaning for nonhuman animals both de lege lata and de lege ferenda, and also focusing on both the written law and law in action.

Amelie Buhl examines a confidential version of the Internal Directive of the Ministry of Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Nature and Consumer Protection of the German State of North Rhine Westphalia of September 2013. Buhl discusses the Internal Directive in the light of both European and German legislation. She points out that in legal terms the Internal Directive has to be viewed as progress in German animal welfare law and as an advance in the development of German public policy in the realm of animal rights.

Ashley Duncan Gibbons provides the readers an overview of the legal system in the U.S. and the animal laws on different legislative level. She highlights the barriers that weaken the legal protection of animals and discusses the laws that animal advocates use to advance the treatment and welfare of animals.

Enrique Rimbaud provides a summary of the initiatives, backgrounds and prospects connected with the enforcement of the Act 747 of the Protection and Welfare of Domestic and Domestic Wild Animals in Nicaragua, mainly from the non-profit foundation A.Mar.Te's point of view.

Maria Baideldinova and Federico Dalpane have made a survey in Kazakhstan on the laws concerning animals. In its present form Kazakhstan's legislation concerning animals does not provide an acceptable level of protection for animals mainly because of missing definitions of animal welfare and cruelty. And therefore they find the Kazakhstani legislation on animals seriously anachronistic. Nevertheless, they are pointing out that Kazakhstan is reforming and modernizing its legislation in a number of matters, at the same time when the public awareness of and concern for animal issues is increasing, therefore there is hope also for the animals on the horizon.

Mark Goldfeder discusses nonhuman animals' legal personhood and the connection between 'law' and 'religion' - especially in a Judaic context. He is approaching the issues both from a 'law in action' point of view through case law and judge statements, and also from a de lege ferenda point of view underlining that a fundamental shift in perspective is needed. Furthermore noting that in this context it makes sense to consider what the religion might have to say.

Rose Wilkinson discusses specifically how to save resources and endangered species from going extinct in the near future. Wilkinson is proposing three separate lists to separate science from policy. She is highlighting that listing have real consequences on the lives of animals, but new protective amendments are also needed to be taken in this regard. Furthermore she underlines that to make the policy making effective it has to include federal funding too.

As we can note the protection of animals from human actions faces various challenges and problems on the legislative arena. Nevertheless, the concern for the animals is arising and a new branch of law is taking form. What we express and highlight today can be law, or changed law, tomorrow. Therefore, it is partly in our hands what 'animal law' will mean for the animals in the future and in practice. Not to forget that the coming generations will judge us according to how effectively (or not) we succeed in this effort. Let us continue the discussions in GJAL.

The Editor Board is wishing all GJAL-readers an enjoyable read and a Happy New Year!

Anna Birgitta Wahlberg


Amelie C. Buhl: Legal Aspects of the Prohibition on Chick Shredding in the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia


This comment considers legal aspects of the Internal Directive of the Ministry of Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Nature and Consumer Protection of 26 September 2013 of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia, which banned the practice of male chick shredding and other methods of killing (the Internal Directive was issued under file number VI-5 4201-722 but was not published. The author therefore examines a confidential version). In the light of European and German legislation this could either be viewed as progress in animal welfare law and hereby serve as a model for other regions, or constitute an unlawful act beyond the leeway of implementation exceeding the Ministry's competence.
Mark Goldfeder: Law and Religion for Nonhuman Persons


Three recent lawsuits brought for habeas corpus, and one for the right to religious free exercise all have one thing in common; these everyday court proceedings were brought on behalf of nonhuman clients. The question of whether or not nonhuman beings can be legal persons, entitled to human rights, is one that American courts have long held that the answer is, at least in some instances, yes. In fact, the Supreme Court has just agreed to hear a case about whether or not nonhuman "persons", i.e. corporations, should be entitled to religious legal rights and protections. Whether we are talking about corporations or animals, extending the idea of personhood requires a fundamental shift in perspective. And in dealing with such a weighty issue, core to our own understanding of the world, it makes sense to at least consider what religion might have to say.
C. Rose Wilkinson: Seeing Red: Utilizing the IUCN Red List to Save Resources and Endangered Species


When the United States decides to place, or not to place, a species on its Endangered Species List, the listing decision has real consequences on the lives of both individual animals and on the chances of survival for entire species. U.S. citizens have proclaimed a primary objective of saving species at the greatest risk of imminent extinction, but the qualitative listing system currently in place in the United States does not adequately relay to the public the true risk of extinction for a given species. Instead, the listing process is heavily influenced by bureaucratic and political considerations, and federal funds are not necessarily allocated to species that are actually facing the greatest extinction risks. Although additional policy reasons to protect a particular species facing a lower risk of extinction may be justifiable, this determination must be made outside the scientific discussion of the relative risk a given species has of going extinct in the near future. The first step towards better protection of endangered species both nationally and internationally is for the federal government to separate science from policy in the listing process by establishing three separate lists: a National Red List, a list of federally protected native species, and a commercial use- restricted list. The establishment of separate lists based on sound science, solid reasoning, and commitment to preservation of the world's biodiversity could be an impetus towards better realization of the unified goal of protecting species from extinction.
Ashley Duncan Gibbons: A Survey of Animal Law in the United States: An overview of laws that should protect animals and the barriers that prevent animals from receiving legal protection.


This Article provides an overview of the current state of animal law in the United States; discusses the laws that animal advocates use to advance the treatment and well-being of animals; and highlights the barriers that weaken the legal protection currently available to animals.
Maria Baideldinova and Federico Dalpane: Animal Law in Kazakhstan: A Survey


We provide a survey of animal law in Kazakhstan and identify a few areas of concern that call for reform. In its present form, Kazakhstan's legislation concerning animals does not provide for an acceptable level of protection from cruelty and mistreatment. It is vast, counting hundreds of separate legal acts, yet lack of precision and contradictions are frequent. Absent a specific law on animal cruelty and/or on animal welfare, Kazakhstani animal lawyers must resort to integrative interpretation of the existing norms to uncover implicit principles of humane treatment of animals that do seem to inform a few legal provisions. It is hoped that these efforts will pave the way to the adoption of a specific anti-cruelty law. We emphasize the urgent need for amending article 276 of the Criminal Code; although it is currently the only legal resource against animal cruelty, it is formulated in an unsatisfactory, anachronistic way. Further, we argue that, in the meanwhile, courts and law enforcement agencies need not feel hampered by a presumed indeterminacy of the concept of animal cruelty; the time is ripe to adopt explicit legal definitions of cruelty and mistreatment that reflect the increased awareness of Kazakhstani society at large of the predicament of animals. We interpret the rising number of citizens' complaints about animal cruelty registered by law enforcement agencies as evidence that the public does recognize and is increasingly sensitive to instances of animal cruelty.
Enrique Rimbaud: Legislation animalistic in Nicaragua and other initiatives