Francione argues that the current legal standard of animal welfare does not and cannot establish rights for animals. As long as they are viewed as property, animals will be subject to suffering for the social and economic benefit of human beings.

A completely different approach to advocating animal rights is to minimize the chance of animal abuse. This could be realized by laying down by law that people do not possess animals in way they own material things. If a person abuses an animal, he or she should lose all rights of ownership. It would be impossible for this person to claim any kind of compensation on this ground. In addition, this person should also lose the right to keep other animals. Treating animals in this fashion resembles child custody: A person may dispose of animals as he or she wishes as long as this person satisfies the requirements stipulated.

     

A government body should be appointed, which is authorized to take preventive measures if animal welfare threatens to be neglected. This agency, in turn, should be monitored as well. The basis of regulations will be an animal's rights to exhibit its natural behavior (specific to the species involved). These regulations may be formulated as follows:

  • Calves are not to be separated from their mothers if they are aged more than X days or less than X days.
  • Calves are not to be housed separately
  • Milk production per cow should not exceed X liters of milk
  • Mother animals that are bred for commercial purposes should be allowed to give birth X times a year.
  • Young animals should be given the opportunity to get used to people.
  • The weight of a turkey should not exceed X kilograms
  • Consumption chickens should have at least X square centimeters to move around
  • Pigs should be housed in groups of limited numbers and be given a minimum range to move about and go outside.
  • Ban on live import and export trade of animals for slaughter
 

If a farmer ignores any of these regulations he/she could be fined first (in questionable cases) and be compelled to sort out matters within a given period of time. Should he/she fail to do so or if the offense is unmistakably a fact, the animal(s) involved will be confiscated and the offender will lose the right to claim compensation. The government may decide to sell the animal(s) to other farmers or to have the animal(s) slaughtered. This is a cost-effective measure safeguarding the animals' interests in a satisfactory way. We believe that priority should be given to preventing drastic measures as much as possible. In addition, if an animal cannot be accommodated, it is our duty to find a solution other than putting the animal down by giving a lethal injection.