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Animal Rights by Country 2024

When considering animal rights, it is important to note that only a few countries have included animal protection in their governmental charter document, such as a constitution. The countries that have enshrined language protecting animals in their constitution are the following:

Animals Have No Legal “Rights” Under Human Laws

The provisions in these constitutional documents or constitutional amendments include language regarding the protection of animals, animal welfare, the dignity of animals, compassion for animals, and prohibitions against animal cruelty. However, there is no express description of any animal “rights.” Even the anti-cruelty laws are about what humans cannot legally do, not necessarily about abused animals' rights.

There is concern for animals in many places, except for these 11 countries: Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cambodia, China, DR Congo, Eritrea, Iran, Madagascar, and Mongolia. Those countries have no laws protecting animals. China and Iran are the worst. For example, China has cities with annual dog-eating festivals; overall, animal abuse in China is horrific.

Here is a list of the countries in the world and whether they have at least the basic legal prohibitions against animal cruelty, even if the law is not enforced.

- Animal Rights covers a vast range of subtopics, many of which are addressed by individual laws in each country.
- Such topics include (but are not limited to) whaling, dog fighting, cockfighting, bullfighting, the use of battery cages for chickens or gestation crates for pigs, foie gras production in ducks, the use and treatment of animals in circuses, goose pulling, treatment of animals during transport or during the slaughtering/rendering process, animal husbandry regulations, conservation of wild animals and their habitats, and treatment of animals kept as pets.

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Country
Laws Meet OIE Standards
Laws Against Cruelty
Recognition of Sentience
Recognition of Suffering
Support at UN
AlgeriaNoYes - unenforcedNoNoNo
AngolaNoNoNoNoNo
ArgentinaYesYesYesYesNo
AustraliaPartial - varies internallyYesYesYesNo
AustriaYesYesYesYesPartial (various internal departments)
AzerbaijanNoNoNoNoNo
BelarusNoNoNoNoNo
BelgiumUnknownYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
Bosnia and HerzegovinaNoYesNoYesNo
BotswanaNoYesNoNoNo
BrazilYesYesYesYesYes
BulgariaUnknownYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
CambodiaNoNoNoNoYes
CanadaNoYesYesYesYes
ChileNoYesYesYesYes
ChinaNoNoNoNoNo
ColombiaYesYesNoYesNo
Costa RicaUnknownYesNoYesYes
CroatiaUnknownYesYesYesNo
CyprusUnknownYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
Czech RepublicUnknownYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
DenmarkYesYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Food)
DR CongoNoNoNoNoNo
EgyptNoYes -unenforcedNoYesNo
EritreaNoNoNoNoNo
EstoniaUnknownYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
EthiopiaNoYesNoNoNo
FijiNoYesNoYesYes
FinlandUnknownYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
FranceYesYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
GermanyYesYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
GreeceUnknownYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Food)
Hong KongNoYesNoYesSee China
HungaryUnknownYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
IndiaNoYesNoYesPartial (Animal Welfare Board)
IndonesiaNoYesPartial - mental health recognizedYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
IranNoNoNoNoNo
IrelandUnknownYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
ItalyNoYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
JapanNoYesNoYesNo
KazakhstanNoYesNoNoNo
KenyaNoYesNoYesNo
LatviaUnknownYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
LebanonYesYesPartialYesNo
LesothoNoYes -unenforcedNoNoNo
LithuaniaUnknownYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
LuxembourgUnknownYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
MadagascarNoNoNoNoNo
MalawiNoYes - unenforcedNoYesNo
MalaysiaNoYesNoYesYes
MaliNoYesNoNoNo
MaltaUnknownYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Resources)
MauritiusNoYesNoNoNo
MexicoNoYesPartial - varies internallyYesNo
MongoliaNoNoNoNoNo
MoroccoNoYes -unenforcedNoYesNo
MozambiqueNoNoNoNoNo
MyanmarNoYesNoYesNo
NamibiaNoYesNoYesNo
NetherlandsYesYesYesYesYes
New ZealandYesYesYesYesYes
NigerNoYesNoPartial - domestic onlyNo
North KoreaNoYesNoNoNo
NorwayNoYesPartial - mental health recognizedYesNo
PakistanNoYesNoYesNo
ParaguayNoYesNoYesNo
PeruNoYesNoYesYes
PhilippinesNoYesPartial - mental health recognizedYesPartial (various internal departments)
PolandNoYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
PortugalNoYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
RomaniaNoYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
RussiaNoYesNoNoNo
Saudi ArabiaNoYesNoYesNo
SeychellesNoYesNoNoYes
SlovakiaUnknownYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
SloveniaUnknownYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
South AfricaNoYesNoYesNo
South KoreaNoYesNoYesNo
SpainNoYesYesYesPartial (Minister for Agriculture)
SwedenYesYesYesYesYes
SwitzerlandYesYesYesYesYes
TanzaniaNoYesPartial - some animals excludedYesYes
ThailandNoYesNoYesPartial (various internal departments)
TurkeyNoYesPartial - mental health recognizedYesNo
UkraineNoYesNoYesNo
United KingdomYesYesYesYesPartial (various internal departments)
United StatesPartial - varies internallyYesPartial - varies internallyYesPartial (various internal departments)
UruguayNoYesNoYesNo
VenezuelaNoYesNoYesNo
VietnamNoNoNoNoNo
ZambiaNoYesNoYesNo
ZimbabweNoYesNoYesNo
showing: 92 rows

Which countries do not have animal rights?

Animal welfare laws differ by country and culture. Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cambodia, China, DR Congo, Eritrea, Iran, Madagascar, and Mongolia, have no animal protection laws recognizing animal sentience.

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