France's Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot announced on Wednesday 2 August, that he wants to "create a think tank on animal welfare" under the authority of "a philosopher and a parliamentarian". "This is a societal matter, we should not be afraid to raise it," said Nicolas Hulot, wishing to set up a future group capable to draw conclusions concerning animal welfare.
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Belgium’s animal rights organisation is following in the footsteps of its European neighbours and asking that a number of freedoms for animals be written into Belgium’s constitution.
Gaia pointed out that animals form a very vulnerable category of living creatures with certain welfare needs. “The respect for their dignity and guaranteeing their welfare should be included in the constitution as a fundamental duty of the state,” it said in a statement.
Gaia was inspired by initiatives in neighbouring countries Germany and Luxembourg, where animal rights were included in the constitution in 2002 and 2007, respectively. “So this should not be an insurmountable problem in Belgium either,” said Gaia president Michel Vandenbosch.
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