Proposal for a new Act concerning animal welfare

As a follow up of the Norwegian Animal Welfare Action Plan, a proposal for a new Norwegian Act regarding animal welfare has been produced through cooperation between The Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food and The Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs.

The proposed Act will replace the current Act from 1974, and applies, in common with this, to both owned and wild animals.

The proposed new Act suggests standards which form the basis for good animal welfare and which are significant for our attitude towards animals. By including respect for animals in the intention of the Act, the Act is seen to encourage welfare and respect for the sake of the animals themselves. A number of new requirements are proposed, whilst other principles are taken from current law or regulation.

Significant developments in the knowledge regarding animals’ abilities and needs, combined with a desire from society that animals shall be treated in an ethical way, formed the background for the proposal. The recognition that animals have an intrinsic value in addition to a useable value is a significant basis for the Act, which should also be interpreted in the light of current sociological ethical standards for the keeping of animals.

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