The protection of animals in France: the emergence of a legal status and control

The idea that mankind has of animals has evolved with time and, as a consequence, man’s relationship as well. In parallel to the evolution of the relationship between men and animals, new challenges facing society have also emerged (political, philosophical, economic, the media etc) and a legal status has materialized. In addition to the appearance of the Right to prohibit and man’s duty towards animals, a regulatory framework has been set up to guarantee the protection of animals, notably in farming. In France, protection of animals has been built on two main principles: the rural Code and European legislation. Different actors are involved in animal welfare and protection: industry professionals but also state representatives, veterinarians, scientists, animal protection associations, etc. Even though the means and actions are different, their objectives converge: contribute to legislation and the continual improvement of farm animal welfare.