The fundamental rights of animals must be written in the Finnish Constitution

Member of the Parliament Mai Kivelä, a member of the Finnish Left Alliance, has submitted a legislative motion to amend the Constitution of Finland to protect the fundamental rights of animals. The proposal was originally made by the Finnish Animal Rights Law Society. Kivelä proposes that animal rights be added to the Constitution as Sections 7 a-e. 

– Animals are basically seen as objects in the current Finnish legislation. The goal is to change the Constitution so that animals are recognized as sentient individuals with needs and rights that are relevant to them, explains Kivelä.

The motion consists of five parts which are Protection of animals, Protection of fundamental rights of animals, Fundamental rights of wild animals, Fundamental rights of animals dependent on human care and Prohibition of animal breeding.

 – As an example of the content of the proposition, it should be a constitutional obligation for the public authorities to protect the fundamental rights of every animal. The law already protects the fundamental rights of human beings, and we need a clause in the Constitution that states this also for other sentient individuals, Kivelä says.

 – The premise of the Finnish legislation is that the wellbeing of animals is virtually always subordinate to the potential of humans to use them as commodities. This is the exact reason why we need this addition to our constitution, states Kivelä.

The proposal by the Finnish Animal Rights Law Society on their website.