Farmed animals’ status and rights in France: developments, challenges and outlook

The status and rights of animals have evolved radically in the West, and developments have gathered considerable momentum over the past few decades. One of the latest shifts involves production-animal welfare. There has been remarkable progress on this front, but several currents of thought want to take it even further. The underlying trend in society seems to be heading towards greater concern for animal welfare, but this question is still the subject of some debate. Thinking about the status and rights of animals invariably involves thinking about the relationship between humans and animals, and views on this issue in particular diverge and occasionally clash. Whatever the answer, this societal trend entails—in the case of animals used in the service of humankind, and livestock in particular—the need to reconcile a new status and new rights with the need to manage the services they render (their productive function) and therefore constantly putting animal and human interests into perspective.