Le droit du bien-être animal dans le monde : évolution et universalisation

Authors: Brels, Sabine
Advisor: Létourneau, LyneOuellet, Richard
Abstract: Animal welfare law is globalizing. Beyond presenting its world-wide evolution, this thesis demonstrates the existence of legally strong foundations toward a universal protection of animal welfare in international law. What is animal welfare law? Mostly unknown in the legal science of French-speaking countries, animal welfare law concerns all the prescriptions which aim at reducing the poor welfare of the animals used for various ends (such as food and clothes production, experiments, entertainments, captivity, company etc.). Those prescriptions generally aim at condemning some acts of cruelty and promoting the good treatment of these animals. However, economic, scientific, cultural or traditional purposes pose often severe limitations or exceptions. This study presents the general content and outlines the main strengths and weaknesses of animal welfare law in the world. In a first part, this thesis brings to light the increasing progression of animal welfare law. First adopted by Anglo-Saxon and European countries in the XIXth century, anti-cruelty laws then spread to other countries in the XIXth century. From the 1960s onwards, a new model of legislation was born, explicitly concerning animal welfare. Right after appeared the European instruments on this subject, now regulating activities such as farming, transports, slaughter and experiments. They are aimed to reduce the suffering of the animals, recognized by the European Union as "sentient beings" deserving protection. In a second part, this thesis states that animal welfare is emerging as a new objective internationally, even universally, since the beginning of this XXIth century. In this sense, the objective of animal welfare protection has been integrated recently in international instruments, most notably in the standards of the World Organisation for Animal Health from early 2000'. Today, animal welfare is beginning to be addressed by the largest global organizations, such as the World Trade Organization and even the United Nations. Can the protection of animal welfare be formally recognized by the Community of States and enshrined in international law as a new universal imperative? Using the theoretical framework of the formal sources of international law lead to the following results: there is a common ground on animal welfare law, from which general principles can be identified, in order to allow the establishment of solid foundations towards the recognition of animal welfare protection as a new universal imperative for the Community of States, particularly in a global convention. Finally, the main conclusion underlines that animal welfare law is currently weak regarding its protective goal. Indeed, it aims less to truly protect the welfare of the animals, than to merely reduce their suffering. However, in progressing towards a better consideration of animals' interests, a real protection of animal welfare can become a future reality in the law. Key words: animal welfare; animal law; comparative law; European law; international law; general principles of law; conventions; international organizations.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2016
Open Access Date: 18 December 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/32964
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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