France Revises Napoleonic Statute That Classifies Animals as ‘Furniture’

Posted by on February 3, 2015 | Permalink

It’s been a long time coming, but last Wednesday, France finally updated a 200-year-old legal code that classified animals as “furniture”!

The French Parliament has now voted to recognise animals as “living sentient beings”, a huge symbolic step forward for compassion.

Progress in French law for animals

When the Civil Code was drawn up by Napoleon in 1804, animals were considered primarily as working farm beasts and categorised as goods or furniture. It’s unbelievable that it’s taken this long to revise this archaic law and start to give animals some of the recognition and protection that they deserve. Even so, it took a year of debate before the bill was passed, as France’s powerful farming lobby did its best to oppose the new law.

Felicitations to everyone who’s worked hard to bring French law into the 21st century – we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed this this progress will open the door to more animal-friendly legislation in the country.