USA take note!

Lawmakers in a French National Assembly committee voted earlier this week to officially change the legal status of animals from “personal property” to that of “sentient living being”.

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The law still must pass the full Assembly and Senate, but animal rights organizers are optimistic that it will move forward. The current law states that animals have no more rights than objects.

“The civil code, which is the foundation of the law in France considers animals are no different to a chair or a table. They are seen as just things,” says Reha Hutin, president of the 30 Million Friends Foundation which started a petition for the change that reached 700,000 signatures.

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“You can see how ridiculous that is. How can we teach children that a dog is no different to a table?”

The amendment, which seeks to “reconcile the legal characterization and emotional value” of animals, has been wildly popular with the French and a recent poll found that 89 percent of the country approves of the change.

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Since 2009, the European Union governing body has officially considered animals sentient beings under the Lisbon Treaty, since 2009. But many national governments have been slow in updating their laws.

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