The Legal Status of Animals in the French Civil Code
The recognition by the French Civil Code that animals are living and sentient beings: symbolic move, evolution or revolution?
France does not have a specific law on animal protection like Switzerland for example. Under French law, rules relating to ''animals'' are scattered in several codes as well as in many other texts (decrees, ordinances circulars). The principal French Codes – out of a total of more than 60 codes – are the Civil Code which deals with civil matters; the Penal Code which deals with criminal matters; the Rural and Marine Fishing Code which mainly deals with the management of land and fishing, public health matters and use of animals; and the Environmental Code which, among others, deals with hunting. In short, it is a real patchwork of provisions that do not constitute a comprehensive and consistent legal framework.