Closing the gap: the interface between animal law and animal ethics

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportKonferencebidrag i proceedingsForskningfagfællebedømt


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A recent paper in PlosOne has reported that on average 85% of all Danish egg-layers in commercial production systems, whether caged or non-caged, have keel bone fractures (KBF). Based on this case, the paper analyses the discrepancy between animal law and animal ethics taking as a point of departure the difference between the law regulating the use of animals for production and a production system that relies on animals bred and held in a way that leads to the majority of them living with serious physical injuries. According to the fundamental norm laid down in section 2 of the Danish Animal Welfare Act, animals must be treated properly and protected as far as possible from pain, suffering, fear, permanent injury and severe distress. This seems impossible to reconcile with the current situation for egg-layers and one therefore would think that the production would be shut down immediately after the publication of the research. Reality, however, is different. The industry has promised to investigate the problem and a timeframe ranging from 10-20 years for rectifying the situation has been presented. This situation illustrates how the ethical intentions behind animal law come up short when faced with the economic logic of animal production. This leads us to ask whether the interface between animal law and animal ethics, where the language of rights is typically used to ‘transfer’ ethical considerations into regulation, ought to be framed differently by approaching the issue from other philosophical perspectives such as consequentialism, virtue ethics and ethics of care. Furthermore, we will carry out a preliminary analysis of the ramifications of such approaches.
TitelTransforming food systems : ethics, innovation and responsibility
RedaktørerDonald Bruce, Ann Bruce
Antal sider6
ForlagWageningen Academic Publishers
ISBN (Trykt)978-90-8686-387-7
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-90-8686-939-8
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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