This chapter provides an introduction to the legal framework relating to animals in South Africa. The South African Constitution sought to change the society fundamentally in a way that establishes a just framework for all its inhabitants. The text is silent about protection for animals; yet, recently, the Constitutional Court found that the environmental right should be interpreted to include protection for animal welfare. It also recognised that animals have intrinsic value as individuals. In addition to the Constitution, there are a number of laws regulating both domestic and wild animals in different contexts. Whilst these laws provide some protection for animals, they are not fully adequate and have not integrated the revised approach to animals brought about by the Constitution. This chapter thus usefully describes and highlights examples of shortcomings in the law as well as opportunities for progressive law reform relating to animals in the country.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Animal Welfare
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781000635768
ISBN (Print)9781032022062
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)
  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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