On Friday, 29 March 2019, scholars from the Faculty of Law provided a legal response to the
Cambridge Declaration. The Toulon Declaration states that animals should be considered as
“non-human natural persons” and not as things.
The Cambridge Declaration, proclaimed on 7 July 2012, represented a historic turning point in
the way animals are perceived. Well-known researchers from around the world, particularly
for their skills in neuroscience, proclaimed at a symposium that animals also have the
neurological substrates of consciousness.
In France, however, the status of animals has made little progress and the reforms do not
take into sufficient account the advances made in research. Faced with this inaction, a team
of scholars from the University of Toulon decided to react.
On Friday 29 March, during a formal session marking the end of the second part of the trilogy
of symposia on The Legal Personality of Animals, university scholars and researchers
published the Toulon Declaration, aimed at giving animal rights both coherence and
effectiveness. In particular, it states that “animals must be universally considered as nonhuman
natural persons and not as things.”
The idea that animals have a legal personality is thus crystallized in a text with a national and
international vocation. By virtue of this Declaration, “specific rights will be granted to animals,
allowing their interests to be taken into account.”
The Toulon Declaration is the legal response that was lacking in the Cambridge Declaration.
Contact: Fabien GROUE – Press officer
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