Netwatcher Note: This is an English language discussion about the German article.
The Higher Administrative Court in Karlsruhe, Germany, has ruled that PETA is not an animal welfare organization authorised to bring collective legal actions as an animal protection organisation. The court decision that is making waves in Germany, has far-reaching implications for PETA.
For a better understanding it is helpful to know the following speciality of German administrative law: German administrative law is based on the principle that you can only file a suit if your own rights are infringed. This means associations do not have the right to initiate proceedings against administrative decisions.
Needless to say, PETA finds it is a bitter pill to swallow that animal users, but not animals themselves can go against administrative acts. If for example a farmer thinks the standards the competent authority asks her to comply with infringe her rights, she may turn to the administrative court for clarification. Animals do not have the same possibility. Organisations such as PETA fight for being granted this right. In German nature conservation law there have been changes with regard to this principle. With the Federal Nature Conservation Law of 2002 nature conservation associations were granted the right to take legal actions against decisions made by authorities, if certain conditions are met.
First and foremost, they must be formally recognised, and it is this similar formal recognition, PETA now has failed rather miserably.The court found that PETA’s undemocratic structure does not fulfill the legal requirements for organisations entitled to sue on behalf of animals, as outsiders have no access to decision-making within PETA Germany’s top-down structure, involving only 9 people in total in Germany.
The German hunting community commented that PETA comes across as “a non-transparent political lobby organization that demands human rights for animals, but hardly contributes to practical on site animal protection.”
The court decision has no direct affect on the German fur trade, but: “It is a further step in the right direction to sustainably influence PETA’s public reputation, its credibility and attractiveness as a recipient of donations and supports all our initiatives to discredit the organisation in the long run,” Dr. Barbara Sixt said. Full Story (German)