BIG AR DANGER:Law in France Turns Animal Law into Tort Vehicle


Pets in France- Legal status– ‘Living beings Capable of feelings’

Posted Apr 18, 2014 10:27 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

Pets in France are no longer just “movable goods” as a result of a bill passed by the National Assembly.*[According to a Paris report, the law must still pass the Senate.]

The new bill amends the civil code to describe animals as “living beings capable of feelings,” according to theInternational Business Times. Lawmakers acted on Tuesday after nearly 700,000 people signed an online petition seeking a more modern definition of animal. The TelegraphMail Online and RFI also have stories.

The new law is expected to allow pet owners to claim damages for suffering when their animals are killed, according to IBT. It will also have an impact in divorce cases, according to divorce lawyer Franck Mejean.  “I have already asked a judge to award shared custody of a cat,” he told the Telegraph. “Neither spouse wanted to part with it.”

Critics say the bill could lead to suits challenging slaughter practices, hunting and scientific research.



PD:  IF such a law was used in the USA– expect to see a firestorm from the legal community. In addition, the definition seems to be far too vague and by claiming that something is capable of feelings, could be interpreted in such a way that the next step would be to outlaw many things which are legal, such as having animal actors. 

Currently, most jurisdictions do NOT allow emotional distress damages for loss of animals. Would such a law make the change so that emotional distress damages were available for loss of an animal?  With the litigation prevalent in the USA, most of the legal community with exception of ARs– are usually not in favor of such a law since humans can’t even recover for emotional distress in cases (such as death of non relative), but a law like this MIGHT cause damages to be awarded in HUGE amounts of cases, knowing how AR laws are drafted.

And as stated in the ABA article, it might lead to challenging slaughter practices, hunting and scientific research.  In the USA, as opposed to France– we have a lot of economic industries tied to animals. Far more than we believe France has. This would impact our entire legal court system without any doubt.

France has not outlawed foie gras but CA has.

Ah, foie gras — expensive, controversial, delicious.

This area in southwestern France is the heart of foie gras country.

Foie gras fans and gastronomes flock to sellers of duck and goose foie gras at the open air market in Sarlat, France. The Dordogne region in southwestern France is the heart of French foie gras farms

Foie gras means “fat liver” in French. It also means a sizable chunk of the French agricultural economy. Foie gras is big business in France, which produces around 20,000 tons of processed goose and duck liver each year: three-quarters of the world’s foie gras, valued at more than a billion dollars.

Among the numerous foie gras sellers at a recent Saturday market was Jean-Hugues Gautier, who used a tiny knife to dispense duck and goose foie gras on small round pieces of toast to tourists and foie gras first-timers. A small 4½-ounce can of duck foie gras cost around $14 at Gautier’s Foie Gras Le Dom ‘Oie stand. Duck foie gras has a more pungent taste, like wild game, compared with goose.

Why do people buy it? Aside from the unparalleled taste, Gautier said “it’s unique, like champagne or caviar,” as he made change for a couple buying two large cans of duck foie gras.

Before foie gras ends up at markets and on plates at fine restaurants, it begins at farms in southwestern France where large signs on the sides of winding roads feature drawings of geese and ducks.

At Denis and Nathalie Mazet’s Elevage du Bouyssou foie gras farm near Sarlat, hundreds of gray geese and ducks graze in pastures for several months before being force fed. The Mazets get their Toulouse geese chicks when they’re a day old. They reach full size at four months living in the pastures on the Mazet farm, eating corn and drinking water (see link for entire story)