Until recently, the possibilities for animal protection groups to use the legal system to help animals were very limited. This has now changed in several federal states where animal protection groups were given the right to sue in certain cases. Although cases can only be won at the federal state level, the court rulings can affect Germany as a whole because these rulings can mean that federal sub laws have to be changed.
While the ASF will not be granted the right to sue in the foreseeable future (foundations have always been exempt from this right and neither Berlin nor Bavaria – being the only states where the ASF could apply – have exercised their right to sue), we can work with other organizations which are in a position to sue. We are very well equipped to do so because one of the most distinguished experts on German animal welfare law, Hans-Georg Kluge, serves on our board.
As of now, we are supporting a case that could bring an end to the use of gestation crates: We aim for a ruling which stipulates that the crates have to be wide enough for the sows to turn around. This would make gestation crates mostly useless to the pig industry.
We also recently started looking into ways to help broiler chickens through legal means.