Germany & animal rights

Germany is close to adding a clause to its constitution guarenteeing animal rights.

The constitution would then read: “The state takes responsibility for protecting the natural foundations of life and animals in the interest of future generations.”


Do animals have this kind of a fundamental right?

Where do these rights end?

Should these rights be guarenteed in a national constitution?

Is the German constitution too vague and will this language cause future problems?

These are not rights.

This can be seen by the following substitution:

“The state takes responsibility for protecting the natural environment in the interest of future generations.”

No-one would claim that the Constitution was offering ‘Rights’ to the environment, merely protection.

‘Rights’ implies something other than ‘Protection’ which is what is offered here.

It seems to me it would protect the rights of the “future generations”, not of the animals. The word “animal” doesn’t even appear…

I thought it was strange to say “life and animals” which implies that the origianl ‘life’ didn’t include animals. I assume the animals they are referring to are alive.

How will this affect animal research?

Much depends on how the German constitution operates. Not every constitution gives the courts power to review and, if necessary, strike down legislation or executive acts because they are considered to infringe constitutional principles. It is clear that the intention here is to protect the interests of “future generations” (of people, presumably, not of animals) but the thinking may be that this is an exhortation addressed to the legislators and the executive as to the objectives which should underly their deliberations, rather than an overriding principle by which the validity of all acts will be judged.

Any German dopers who can cast some light on this?