Europe has legally recognized animals as sentient beings according to the Lisbon Treaty, which went into effect December 1. Article 13 of the treaty states, “…the Union and the Member States shall, since animals are sentient beings, pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals…” Compassion in World Farming, an animal-welfare organization, says this is a positive precedent that will help activists negotiate for improved animal-welfare legislation. The treaty, originally signed in 2007 by all 27 EU members, addresses modern social, economic, and political changes, and is designed to “[take] Europe into the 21st century.”
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