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A transparent Methodology for Society to Address Animal Welfare from the Intrinsic Value and the Justifying Reason to A Transparent Methodology for Society Addressing Animal Welfare–Proposal for an Ethical Based Framework for Decision Makers


Animal welfare plays an increasingly important role in society. Traditionally, many laws and regulations within the area of animal welfare have been focused on a particular intended use for a group of animals and/or the avoidance of negative experiences and states. Today, this is no longer a sufficient platform when making decisions involving animals. To go forward an ethical framework, has been developed, where the starting point is the animal’s intrinsic value supplemented by the claim for a good life for the animal. This does not mean that animals can’t be negatively affected by for example societal needs, but the process of taking such a decision should be systematic, transparent and evidence-based. If compromises of animal welfare are deemed necessary by human intervention the arguments to do so should be accessible for all wishing to assess the decision. The first step of the process of decision-taking is to identify whether a legitimate purpose is pursued. The second step is to evaluate whether the elements of the principle of proportionality have been respected: "Appropriateness," "necessity" and "proportionality in the narrower sense”. By going step-wise through this decision model all ethical implications and proposed solutions are debated. If compromising interventions are deemed necessary, the arguments and chosen method to do so is presented in a systematic a transparent manner.

Mette Uldahl*, Dominique Autier Dérian, Susanne Hartmann, Thomas Richter

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