German “animal rights” proposal

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2002:

Associated Press erroneously reported on May 17 that “Germany
has become the first European Union country to guarantee animal
rights in its constitution–a move that could curtail experimentation
by the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.”
The inaccurate report was amplified by other media and hailed
by animal advocates, as pollsters and talk show hosts asked, “Has
Germany gone too far?”
Actually, only the lower house of the German legislature
approved a constitutional amendment which would add the words “and
animals” to a phrase which would then read, “The state takes
responsibility for protecting the natural foundations of life and
animals in the interest of future generations.”

The wording appears oriented toward protecting biodiversity,
not individual animals, and stipulates that the reason for
protection is future human interests.
Approved 543-19 with 15 abstentions, the proposed amendment
evolved out of a decade of discussion and debate that originated with
a much broader proposal. It must clear the upper house of the
legislature too before becoming law.

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