Over the last years, Norway has revised its animal welfare legislation. As of January 1, 2010, the Animal Protection Act of 1974 was replaced by a new Animal Welfare Act. This paper describes the developments in the normative structures from the old to the new act, as well as the main traits of the corresponding implementation and governance system. In the Animal Protection Act, the basic animal ethics principles were to avoid suffering, treat animals well, and consider their natural needs and instincts. In addition, a principle for balancing our duties towards animals with the needs and interests of humans was expressed by the formulation unnecessary suffering. These principles (only with slightly different formulations) are retained in the new act. The novelty of the new act is shown by its explicit intention to promote respect for animals and its recognition of animals’ intrinsic value. Whereas intrinsic value is only given a symbolic function, the notion of respect is intended to have practical consequences. One interpretation of respect for animals is taking the animal’s integrity—and not only welfare—into account. Another is to see the introduction of respect as a call to animal keepers to provide animals with welfare exceeding the minimum requirements. In several respects, the legal system now seems to leave more responsibility to the individual animal keeper—and to citizens in general. I argue that if the authorities really do want to promote respect for animals, they must at the same time initiate activities to achieve this. In my perspective the challenge is to provide adequate measures to achieve in practice the intended respect for animals expressed in the new act
Keywords Animal welfare legislation  Animal ethics  Ethical principles  Respect  Intrinsic value  Governance
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9263-5
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,289
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Noûs. Oxford University Press. pp. 425-434.
Pragmatism.Douglas McDermid - 2006 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Intentions and Values in Animal Welfare Legislation and Standards.Frida Lundmark, C. Berg, O. Schmid, D. Behdadi & H. Röcklinsberg - 2014 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 27 (6):991-1017.
Liberty and Valuing Sentient Life. Hadley - 2013 - Ethics and the Environment 18 (1):87-103.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
66 ( #160,494 of 2,445,237 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #457,173 of 2,445,237 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes