Animals have feelings, are 'not furniture': French parliament
France's parliament officially recognised animals as "living, sentient beings" rather than "furniture" on Wednesday.
After more than a year of often passionate debate, a bill updating the legal status of animals in France was adopted aligning the 200-year civil code with current rural and penal law that already recognised animals "as living and sentient beings."
When the civil code was drawn up by Napoleon in 1804 animals were considered primarily as working farm beasts, and designated as goods or furniture that could be owned.
France's powerful farm lobby, the FNSEA, along with some politicians had voiced concern that the change in the legislation could undermine the interests of farmers, particular cattle breeders.
© 2015 AFP