Animal Protection in Constitutions Around the World
An Animal Rights Article from


January 2015

National constitutions are valuable instruments for protecting animals. This chart (see PDF) provides a summary of current constitutional provisions relating to the care, protection, and general status of animals throughout the world.

While World Animal Net desires the strongest possible constitutional protections for animals, this chart is for informational purposes only, and does not purport to endorse or recommend any particular provision.

Included on this chart are provisions and corresponding citations that reference animal protection either directly or indirectly. For example, some nations reference the treatment of animals, specifically. Others reference such terms as “fauna,” “species,” “living things,” and “nature.” Keywords appear in bold. The level of protection and recognition afforded to animals through constitutions varies widely by country. Some constitutions, for example, have many provisions where others may contain only a single provision. Some require that all animals are deserving of protection, while others are concerned with rare or native species only. Similarly, the constitutions of many countries emphasize the importance of protection of species as national resources and assets, while others view animals as deserving of protection in their own right. Finally, some constitutions authorize the regulation of specific industries such as fishing, hunting, and slaughter.

Among the countries that obligate citizens to take a role in protecting animals are Cuba, India, Hungary, Kyrgyz Republic, and Serbia. In addition to provisions requiring specific duties by the state and/or citizens owed toward animals, the listings below include directives and/or authorizing language for the governing of animal protection matters by legislative and regulatory bodies.

Finally, not included on this chart are a number of additional countries have constitutional rights and/or interests in property where a risk to the health of human beings, animals or plants is present. A version of these property provisions exist in the constitutions of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Dominica, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malta, Mauritius, Nauru, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, St. Vincent, and Tuvalu, and Zambia.

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