France, Scotland, Canada weigh new legislation

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2005:

French Justice Minister Domin-ique Perben in early May 2005
recommended that the national civil code, drafted by Napoleon
Bonaparte in 1804, be updated to recognize animals as “living and
sentient beings,” Agence France-Presse reported. Animals have long
been protected from abuse under the French criminal code, but only
by extension of their property status.
The Scottish Executive on May 16 introduced a bill to
prohibit awarding live animals as prizes, and to raise the minimum
age for buying a pet from 12 to 16. “The bill also contains
provisions to help protect against diseases such as hoof-and-mouth,”
and “incorporates tough measures to combat animal cruelty,” wrote
Alan McEwen of The Scotsman.
Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler in mid-May introduced
the fifth attempt, by a series of governments, to update the
federal anti-cruelty code. The new draft bill reportedly includes
broad exemptions for traditional hunting and fishing practices,
including seal-clubbing.

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