Ethical, scientific, and policy developments have led to many countries seeking to introduce or improve national animal welfare legislation. This Model Animal Welfare Act has been prepared to assist with this process.
This Model Animal Welfare Act has been designed to serve as a basic template and guidance document for those interested in enacting new legislation or improving existing animal protection legislation. It has been drafted using an extensive comparative law exercise, taking into account ‘best practice’ in the field. Thus it is aspirational in nature; seeking to provide the best possible structures, systems and provisions to protect the welfare of animals. This may mean that countries which are just starting to establish animal welfare requirements might decide to introduce its provisions progressively. In such cases, a strategic approach (step-wise and prioritised) is recommended. This could also be considered in cases where countries already have structures, systems and provisions that have been introduced gradually over time, but remain less than optimal. The important principle is that each country works progressively towards the best possible protection for the welfare of its animal population, and indeed – as elaborated in the Three Rs approach – the eventual reduction and replacement of any uses of animals which compromise their welfare.