|Matters that aren't described
in the law, you cannot plead for. Although the spirit
of the law indicates that we have to treat animals well,
the practices in industrial farming are not prohibited.
In practice cattle farmers may treat animals as if they were things, as long as they live up to legal regulations and keep away from (gross) neglect of an animal.
The contemporary law is not suitable to guarantee animal rights. The law is just running behind developments within farming. In the past one could not foresee that nowadays we would keep such large quantities of farm animals in only so little space. What has been passed into law, is that animals have an intrinsic value. However, this has not yet led to actions that improve the animal's well-being.What has to be done, is that animals too are granted basic rights: just as human beings.
This basic right can very well be the same right as goes for humans, namely the right to freedom (to be able to behave in the natural ways that belong to the species).
Until this right is established, it makes little sense to make an appeal on laws in order to protect the interests of animals.
That very same, malfunctioning law is by the way meanwhile exploited by the pig breeders and the breeders of furry animals, in an attempt to stretch the days of their trade. Hopefully politically-aware Dutch citizens will, together with the legislature, wake up in time to put an end to this shortcoming and join forces to develop a law that banishes and prevents from modern excesses in farming.