"The International Symposium for the Symbiotic Relationship
Between Human and Animals 2002"
Nathalie MELIK DVM
1992 Present function
1980 Doctorate in Veterinary Science (Faculty of Medicine, Paris)
Thesis: ﾒContribution to the Study of Relationships Between
Humans and Their Pets in Urban Environmentsﾓ
1978 National College of Veterinary Science, Maisons-Alfort (Paris)
Ms. Nathalie Melik is actively participating in TV programs, panel discussions and symposiums, and giving various types of lectures at conferences, workshops and veterinary science universities as a specialist from the animal welfare related offices. As a responsible official of the animal welfare administration, she is also involved in the wide range of civil services with main focus on establishing animal welfare regulations and implementation of laws.
Brief overview of German animal welfare law
German animal welfare law is laid down in the Basic Law, the Animal Welfare Act, ratifying acts of several European Conventions and ordinances under the Animal Welfare Act, the Civil Code and the Code of Civil Procedure. These provisions focus on the 1972 Animal Welfare Act, amended in 1986 and 1998. Section 1 of this Act takes up the principle of ethical animal welfare already embodied in the Reich Animal Welfare Act of 1933: "The aim of this Act is to protect the lives and well-being of animals, based on the responsibility of human beings for their fellow creatures. No one may cause an animal pain, suffering or harm without good rea-son".
The Animal Welfare Act applies to all animals and regulates, inter alia, animal husbandry, in-cluding farm animals, livestock transport, slaughter and culling of animals and the animal ex-perimentation sector. It also contains a number of authorizations for the competent Federal Ministry to issue specific regulations in ordinances. The Federal Ministry has now issued ordinances on the keeping of dogs (1974, 2001), livestock transport (1997), slaughter and culling of animals (1997), identification of laboratory animals (1988), and on the notification of the number of used laboratory animals (1988, 2000). In 2001, the ordinances issued on the husbandry of laying hens (1988), calves (1997) and pigs (1994) were replaced by a single or-dinance on farm animal husbandry . For many other animal species, the Federal Ministry has published expert opinions and guidelines, providing guidance for animal keepers and supervi-sory authorities when interpreting the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act.
The "fellow creature" principle applying to animals, laid down in Section 1 of the Animal Wel-fare Act was also followed up by an amendment to the Civil Code in 1990. Animals had until then been treated like objects under civil law. Now the Civil Code reads as follows:
"Animals are not objects. They shall be protected by specific acts. The provisions applying to objects shall apply analogously to animals unless otherwise provided for by lawﾒ and continues
"expenses arising from the therapeutic treatment of an injured animal shall not already be deemed disproportionate when they considerably exceed its value".
The incorporation of animal welfare into the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany has also been discussed since the reunification of Germany in 1990 at the latest. While there existed a consensus in society that animals already enjoy a high level of protection in Germany due to the Animal Welfare Act, animal welfare arguments ranked inferior in conflicts with specific fundamental legislation such as freedom of religion or the freedom accorded to science, research and teaching. To weigh up the interests of animal use and the right of animals to protection from pain, suffering or harm in future, the levels of legislation should be aligned and constitutional rank be accorded to animal welfare.
Therefore, animal welfare was inserted in Article 20 a of the Basic Law alongside the already existing constitutional goal of conserving the natural foundations of life:
"The state, also in its responsibility for future generations, protects the natural foundations of life and the animals in the framework of the constitutional order, by legislation and, according to law and justice, by executive and judiciary."
The former formulation "protection of natural foundations of life" did not cover the protection of individual animals against avoidable pain, suffering or harm. The express embodiment of animal welfare in the constitution was designed to improve the realization of effective animal welfare. On the one hand, this step acts as a signal in political terms due to the commitment of the state to animal welfare, on the other hand the embodiment of animal welfare as an legal asset of constitutional rank has influenced the application of law ranking beneath constitution-al law in favour of a higher level of protection. When taking legal decisions weighing up pros and cons, greater regard can now be given to animal welfare on a case-by-case-basis than hith-erto.
The constitutional goal of animal welfare does not thereby generally prevail over colliding fun-damental rights. In fact, a weighing up of animal welfare concerns and colliding fundamental rights will be required in future, i.e. with freedom of religion (e.g. Halal slaughter) and the right to freedom of science, research and teaching (animal experiments in research or surgery on animals during training), artistic freedom (animals as an "art object") and occupational liberty (e.g. farming conditions of farm animals, "agony breeds" in domestic animals).
Dr. Rolf Krieger
VitaYear of Birth 1963
Studies of Agricultural Science in G嗾tingen (1983/84)
Studies of Veterinary Medicine in Hanover (1984-1990)
Approbation as Veterinarian (1990)
Veterinary Practitioner (1990-1992 and 1996)
Scientific Assistant at the Institute for Animal Hygiene and Animal Welfare, Hanover School of Veterinary Medicine (1990-1995)
Conferral of a Doctorate of Verinary Medicine (1994)
Veterinary Specialist for Animal Hygiene (1996)
Internship for Veterinary Officers (1996-1998)
Animal Disease Fund of Lower Saxony, Hanover (1998)
Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture, National Crisis Centre for Animal Disease Control (1998-1999)
Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture, Animal Welfare Group (since 1999)