Editor's Foreword: Animal Laws in a Global Context

  • Birgitta Wahlberg


The second issue of Global Journal of Animal Law (GJAL) truly has a global imprint. GJAL 2/2013 offers three articles, two surveys and one note coming from Nicaragua, Kazakhstan, Germany and the United States (U.S.). Each pieces reflecting on different issues and questions to animal law; raising fundamental questions on what current animal law is meaning for nonhuman animals both de lege lata and de lege ferenda, and also focusing on both the written law and law in action.

Amelie Buhl examines a confidential version of the Internal Directive of the Ministry of Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Nature and Consumer Protection of the German State of North Rhine Westphalia of September 2013. Buhl discusses the Internal Directive in the light of both European and German legislation. She points out that in legal terms the Internal Directive has to be viewed as progress in German animal welfare law and as an advance in the development of German public policy in the realm of animal rights.

Ashley Duncan Gibbons provides the readers an overview of the legal system in the U.S. and the animal laws on different legislative level. She highlights the barriers that weaken the legal protection of animals and discusses the laws that animal advocates use to advance the treatment and welfare of animals.

Enrique Rimbaud provides a summary of the initiatives, backgrounds and prospects connected with the enforcement of the Act 747 of the Protection and Welfare of Domestic and Domestic Wild Animals in Nicaragua, mainly from the non-profit foundation A.Mar.Te's point of view.

Maria Baideldinova and Federico Dalpane have made a survey in Kazakhstan on the laws concerning animals. In its present form Kazakhstan's legislation concerning animals does not provide an acceptable level of protection for animals mainly because of missing definitions of animal welfare and cruelty. And therefore they find the Kazakhstani legislation on animals seriously anachronistic. Nevertheless, they are pointing out that Kazakhstan is reforming and modernizing its legislation in a number of matters, at the same time when the public awareness of and concern for animal issues is increasing, therefore there is hope also for the animals on the horizon.

Mark Goldfeder discusses nonhuman animals' legal personhood and the connection between 'law' and 'religion' - especially in a Judaic context. He is approaching the issues both from a 'law in action' point of view through case law and judge statements, and also from a de lege ferenda point of view underlining that a fundamental shift in perspective is needed. Furthermore noting that in this context it makes sense to consider what the religion might have to say.

Rose Wilkinson discusses specifically how to save resources and endangered species from going extinct in the near future. Wilkinson is proposing three separate lists to separate science from policy. She is highlighting that listing have real consequences on the lives of animals, but new protective amendments are also needed to be taken in this regard. Furthermore she underlines that to make the policy making effective it has to include federal funding too.

As we can note the protection of animals from human actions faces various challenges and problems on the legislative arena. Nevertheless, the concern for the animals is arising and a new branch of law is taking form. What we express and highlight today can be law, or changed law, tomorrow. Therefore, it is partly in our hands what 'animal law' will mean for the animals in the future and in practice. Not to forget that the coming generations will judge us according to how effectively (or not) we succeed in this effort. Let us continue the discussions in GJAL.

The Editor Board is wishing all GJAL-readers an enjoyable read and a Happy New Year!

Anna Birgitta Wahlberg

How to Cite
WAHLBERG, Birgitta. Editor's Foreword: Animal Laws in a Global Context. Global Journal of Animal Law, [S.l.], n. 2, dec. 2016. ISSN 2341-8168. Available at: <https://ojs.abo.fi/ojs/index.php/gjal/article/view/1308>. Date accessed: 07 dec. 2022.