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Animal Welfare regulations are a challenge for those who seek to protect animals from inhumane humans. These 8 countries made the animal care and kindness list!



Austria – A Grade

Austria holds title as the best country for the overall care and treatment of animals. In 2005, Austria banned the use of orangutans, chimpanzees and gorillas for experiments after the 2004 act banned the use of wild animals in circuses and prohibited fur farming.


The Austrian Animal Welfare Act recognizes the fear factor and suggests that the protection of animals should be held to a value that is equal to that of humans. Sensibly, it exempts injury to animals as regards hunting and fishing.


New Zealand – A Grade

New Zealand is a world leader in animal welfare receiving an overall A grade. The rights of animals are protected under the Animal Welfare Act of 1999 and the Animal Welfare Strategy of 2013. These legislations emphasized New Zealand's position as a global leader in animal welfare, including progressive stances in scientific and technological advances as regards animal welfare.


The 1999 act states that animals are sentient and this was also drafted into the 2013 Animal Welfare legislation.


Switzerland – A Grade

 According to international standards, Switzerland has high levels of animal welfare and protection in comparison with other countries. The Animal Welfare Act of 2005 protects the welfare and dignity of animals.


Activities that are deemed degrading to the dignity of animals are forbidden and include suffering, infliction of pain, harm, or exposure to humiliation or anxiety. The country was awarded a Grade A from World Animal Protection in 2014.


United Kingdom – A Grade

Animal welfare in the United Kingdom is different from animal conservation. In both Wales and England the Animal Welfare Act of 2006 introduced tougher penalties for both cruelty and negligence including a lifetime ban from pet ownership, a 51-week maximum jail term, and fines amounting up to £20,000.


The act also introduced the duty of care by the owner who is required to provide the necessary basic needs for the animal.


Chile – B Grade

Law 20380 of 2009 is the legislation regarding animal welfare in Chile. This law establishes rules regarding animal welfare including the protection and respect of animals as sentient beings and to avoid unnecessary suffering.


The 2009 law covers pet animals and those used for scientific research, zoos, etc.), used for farming, companion animals, and wild animals.


Denmark – B Grade

By international standards, the country of Denmark has moderately strong protections for animals. The Denmark Animal Welfare Act of 2013 prohibits direct negligence and abuse, thus requiring animal keepers to provide basic needs to their animals.


In 2014, the country was awarded a Grade B from World Animal Protection.


Germany – B Grade

The Animal Welfare Act in Germany creates an offense for substantial pain, injury, suffering or negligently and willfully inflicting pain on an animal. Although the term "animal" is not used in the act, there are references to fish, vertebrates, amphibians, cephalopods, reptiles, warm-blooded animals and cold-blooded animals.


Netherlands – B Grade

The Netherlands replaced its Animal and Welfare Act Animal Act 2011, which came into force in 2013. The act features anti-cruelty and duty of care provisions that are also applicable to farm animals.


The use of great apes for experiments is prohibited as well as testing cosmetics on animals as per the EU Animal Welfare Rules.


Animal Welfare Organizations

Animal welfare organizations in countries around the world include the Humane Society of the US (HSUS), American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), The World Animal Protection, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Humane Society International in Australia, and the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals (RSPCA).


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