Germany On Its Way to Embedding Animal Rights Into Its Constitution

Members of Germany’s Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, voted 543-19 to amend that nation’s constitution to include rights for animals.

The proposed law would amend Article 20a of the German Basic Law. That section is concerned with requiring the state to protect human dignity and will now read,

The state takes responsibility for protecting the natural foundations of life and animals in the interest of future generations.

The bill will be taken up by the Bundesrat, the upper house of the German parliament, later this year where it is expected to pass.

The German Society for Health and Research called the proposal’s passage Black Friday, fearing the change will inevitably lead to restrictions on medical research.


Germany votes for animal rights. CNN, May 17, 2002.

Germany to grant animal rights. The BBC, May 17, 2002.

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