Dogs Are Now Recognized As Sentient Beings In France

Credit: Remy de la Mauviniere
Credit: Remy de la Mauviniere

In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, this news, at least, hints at hope for France. 

As of Tuesday evening, domesticated canines are no longer considered personal property but living beings under a new law in France.

This is the same nation that made it illegal for grocery stores to purposefully waste food, as well hosted the world’s first car-free day. Certainly, progressive happenings are taking place in France.

DogHeirs reports that nearly 700,000 people signed a petition against the 1804 law that categorized pets as “movable goods,” such as furniture and kitchen equipment.

The change to the law now gives 63 million pets more protection against cruelty and brings the civil law in line with the penal code. Interestingly, the voting took place on the same day the U.S. Senate passed a bill making medical marijuana more easily accessible to veterans and a county in Colorado voted to fund college scholarships with a marijuana tax. 

While it passed in the national assembly, it still has to be approved by the Senate.

According to Luc Ferry, the former education minister, the Napoleonic legislation was “absurd.” He happily signed the petition and declared:

“No one has ever tortured a clock. Animals suffer, they have emotions and feelings. It is not a question of making animals subjects of the law…but simply of protecting them against certain forms of cruelty.”

Reportedly, this new change also means couples can contest custody in a divorce and claim compensation for suffering caused to a pet accidental injuries. People will also be allowed to leave their inheritances to their pets.

This is certainly a step forward for the animal kingdom. 

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