Knesset:
Animals Don't Have Legal Rights

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Knesset:
Animals Don't Have Legal Rights

By Jonathan Lis, on Haaretz.com
November 2009

The Knesset rejected a bill to change the name of the Animal Welfare Law to the Animal Rights Law, since Israeli law does not recognize animals as legal entities with rights, according to coalition members.

"The proposed law is based on the unacceptable premise that animals have rights," Religious Services Minister Yaakov Margi (Shas) told the Knesset.

Margi said the government believes animals have the same legal status as inanimate entities such as corporations, ships, universities and cities.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin showed great interest in the debate, being a dog owner.

"I do not know what I would do to a person who killed my Stephan," he said during Margi's speech.

Later, Rivlin described his strong convictions regarding animals.

"I do not eat meat, I am a vegetarian for ethical reasons. My dog was taken to a kennel since he bit someone, or someone thought he had bit them. The kennel was next to a slaughterhouse. When I saw how they were slaughtering animals, I became a vegetarian. That was more than 40 years ago," said Rivlin.

MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima) proposed the bill, and said he realized the coalition would reject it. He attempted to push through a less significant change, without the term "animal rights," but that was rejected as well.

He promised to try again to get the bill passed in six months.