Oregon Courts Recognize Animals Matter

Oregon Courts Recognize Animals Matter
Earlier this month, the Oregon Supreme Court released two important judgments recognizing that animals are more than merely property and have moral worth in the eyes of the law.

In one case, the court disagreed with the defendant that criminal animal cruelty laws are about protecting the public from immoral human behaviour. Instead, the court ruled that animals who have been abused are victims in their own right who deserve to be considered by the sentencing judge.

In the other case, the court created an exception to the usual requirement that law enforcement obtain a warrant to enter private property or seize an animal. The court ruled that if an animal is facing imminent harm, the animal can be removed, even from private property, without a warrant.

Although the law considers animals to be property, courts and legislatures are increasingly recognizing what animal advocates have long been saying: animals have moral worth and deserve to have basic rights protection.

The best way each of us can respect animals’ rights to live free from harm and exploitation is to opt out of supporting industries that profit from animal suffering. ChooseVeg.ca has plenty of inspiration for eating in alignment with our ethics.

Image: Rescued calves, unwanted by the dairy industry, at Animal Place Farm Sanctuary.