Animal Rights History

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Animal Rights History Timeline » » Animal Rights Law

Animal Rights History-Timeline

Animal Rights Law-Legistlation for Protection of Animals; Laws Against Cruelty to Animals

Thomas Wentworth's Act of 1635 in Ireland, as well as Nathaniel Ward's contribution to the Massachusetts Body of Liberties of 1641 establishes laws against cruelty to animals in America and Ireland almost 200 years prior to the passage of Richard Martin's Act of 1822, a Bill to Prevent the Cruel and Improper Treatment of Cattle. Since these contributions were largely unknown until the late 20th century, the modern era of anti-cruelty legislation is usually traced back to the precedence set by "Martin's Act" and the amendments and legislative enactments against cruelty to animals that followed. However, it is King Ashoka, in the 3rd century BCE that we must honour as being the first to decree law not only for the protection of animals, creating the first list of "protected species but, progressive even by today's standards, proclaiming the slaughter of animals as food or for sacrifice unlawful."¹

Animal Rights Laws; Animal Protection-Animal Cruelty Law

Laws, Acts and other Legislation enacted for the protection of animals as well as literature remarking on the history of the humane movement highlight animal rights activists, animal welfare advocates, and authors accomplishments for animal rights, animal welfare and the protection of animals.


[BCE- c485] Ancient Laws for Protection of Animals
[c485-1450] Medieval Prohibitions Against Cruelty to Animals
[1450-1660] Early Legislation Against Cruelty to Animals
[1660-1785] Early Pleas for Laws Against Cruelty to Animals
[1785-1837] Modern Legislative Beginnings-Animal Protection Law
[1837-1901] Animal Protection Anti-Vivisection Legislation-Law
[1901-1945] Continuing Animal Protection Law of the 20th Century

The purpose of legislation is not merely thus preventive. Legislation is the record, the register, of the moral sense of the community; it follows, not precedes, the development of that moral sense, but nevertheless in its turn reacts on it, strengthens it, and secures it against the danger of retrocession. It is well that society should proclaim, formally and decisively, its abhorrence of certain practices; and I do not think it can be doubted, by those who have studied the history of the movement, that the general treatment [99] of domestic animals in England, bad as it still is, would be infinitely worse at this day but for the progressive and punitive legislation that dates from the passing of "Martin's Act" in 1822.Henry Salt, Animals' Rights, "Lines of Reform"

¹ Ananda W. P. Guruge, "Emperor Asoka's Place in History," in King Asoka and Buddhism, Historical and Literary Studies, ed. by Anuradha Seneviratna, Buddhist Publication Society: Kandy, Sir Lanka, 1994; Online at Buddhanet.net).

Animal Rights History-Timeline

Laws Against Cruelty to Animals

highlight animal rights activists, animal welfare advocates, authors, humane educators and legislators accomplishments for animal rights, animal welfare and protection of animals.

[BCE-c485] Ancient Laws for Protection of Animals
[c485-1450] Medieval Prohibitions Against Cruelty to Animals
[1450-1660] Early Legislation Against Cruelty to Animals
[1660-1785] Early Pleas for Laws Against Cruelty to Animals
[1785-1837] Modern Legislative Beginnings-Animal Protection Law
[1837-1901] Animal Protection Anti-Vivisection Legislation-Law
[1901-1945] Continuing Animal Protection Law of the 20th Century





Laws Against Cruelty to Animals

highlight animal rights activists, animal welfare advocates, authors, humane educators and legislators accomplishments for animal rights, animal welfare and protection of animals.

[BCE-c485] Ancient Laws for Protection of Animals
[c485-1450] Medieval Prohibitions Against Cruelty to Animals
[1450-1660] Early Legislation Against Cruelty to Animals
[1660-1785] Early Pleas for Laws Against Cruelty to Animals
[1785-1837] Modern Legislative Beginnings-Animal Protection Law
[1837-1901] Animal Protection Anti-Vivisection Legislation-Law
[1901-1945] Continuing Animal Protection Law of the 20th Century


The Bookworm, Carl Spitzweb
The Bookworm, Carl Spitzweg

Animal Rights History Timeline


[BCE-c485] Antiquity
[c485-1450] Medieval Ages
[1450-1660] Renaissance
[1660-1785] Englightenment
[1785-1837] Romantic Age
[1837-1901] Victorian Age
[1901-1945 20thC-Modernism


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[Abstinence from Animal Food]
[Animal Rights Quotes]
[Animal Rights Law]
[Anti-Vivisection Quotes]
[Humane Education, Teaching Children Kindness to Animals]
[Hunting, Blood-Sports Cruelty]
[Poetry-Plays; Humane Poets]
[Religion-Religious Quotes
Sermons Against Animal Cruelty]
[Souls, Immortality, Future Life]
[Humanity-Justice-Kindness]
[Intelligence-Reason-Emotion]
[Make Compassion the Fashion;
Beauty-Feathers-Fur-Leather]
[Cruelty-Slavery of Animals]
[Strait from the Horse's Mouth:
Words from Animals Themselves]
[Vegetarians-Vegans; Cruelty of Slaughter, Abstinence-Animals]


Animal Rights Timeline: Animal Rights—Animal Welfare—Humane History—Protection of Animals • Animal Rights Activists • Animal Rights Quotes • Animal Rights Law • Humane Education • Online Library of Primary Source Historical Literature • Free Full Text eBooks Against Cruelty to Animals

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