New Zealand Legally Recognises Animals As ‘Sentient’ Beings


More and more countries are starting to pass laws that are designed with the intent of protecting animals and ensuring their continued safety. For far too long, we’ve been living in a world that is essentially a free for all. People regularly hurt animals and treat their poorly, because they know that they will not face serious jail time or any kind of penalty that would give them pause.

In most places, animals are typically regarded as second class citizens, mere property that people can treat how they want and dispose of as needed. New Zealand has decided that enough is enough, passing new laws that seek to put an end to the unjust treatment that animals experience on such a constant basis.

New Zealand’s changes are definitely for the better, as they have ruled that animals are sentient beings. This law aims to promote the ideal that animals are intelligent creatures with feelings, that they are worthy of being treated like equal citizens in modern society. Gone are the days when a person could hurt or maim their pet, tossing them aside when the animal no longer has any usefulness to them.

We should all treat living beings the same exact way that we would want them to treat us. Animals have been subject to unfair treatment for far too long and we applaud New Zealand for stepping up to the plate to put a stop to it. According to their new

The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, animals are considered to have emotions, both positive and negative.

The bill states that animals are capable of feeling distress and pain, as well. No more abuse, no more neglect. Animals react to adverse situations in the same way that humans do and New Zealand recognizes this reality. They are not foolish creatures that we can treat any way we want, they are sentient beings who are worthy of the same respect that we readily give to our human counterparts each day.

Changes like these are made with the objective of lending additional weight to animal abuse cases and ensuring the perpetrators receive a penalty that is commiserate with the crime that they’ve committed. Instead of the old days, when a person could abuse an animal and essentially get away with it, there are new rules to be followed. With any luck, these laws will deter those who thought that hurting animals was a “victim-less” crime. Please share, everyone. 

Read the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill here.

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