Myanmar

F
Myanmar
Recognising animal protection

Recognising animal protection

This theme examines recognition of animal sentience and the importance of animal protection as a societal value within the country, including government support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, prohibition of cruelty and protection for different categories of animals.

G

Formal recognition of animal sentience

There is no policy or legislation

There is no policy or legislation recognising animal sentience.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

As it stands today, there is no formal evidence or signal from the government to recognise sentience as an independent issue that will inform discussions of animal issues in the country. As such, sentience is not included and does not inform public policies that could be potentially linked to animals (such as environmental or sustainable production policies).

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The government has not yet incorporated current practical experience and scientific knowledge regarding animal sentience into the country’s legislation. The government does not appear to consider animal welfare as an important issue, despite Myanmar being a member of the OIE, which has guiding principles on animal welfare that are based on the premise that animals are sentient beings.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There is no policy or legislation relevant to this indicator.

G

Support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare

There is no government support

The government has not pledged in principle support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW).

Note: The Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare is a proposed formal international acknowledgment of a set of principles giving animal welfare due recognition among governments and the international community. An expression of support for the UDAW demonstrates a government’s commitment to working with the international community to improve animal welfare.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

There is no support for the UDAW. Support for the UDAW would be a first step towards integrating animal protection considerations into different discussion tables, becoming a soft law source for decision makers interested in improving animal protection in the country.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Taking into consideration that support for the Universal Declaration implies political will to adopt a soft-law commitment and that this has not taken place in the country, the salient obstacle is the lack of political will to adopt such a declaration as a policy instrument.  

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There is no policy or legislation relevant to this indicator.

B

Laws against causing animal suffering

There is legislation

The government repealed the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1930 and a series of norms on animal trade, and produced new legislation in 1993. The Animal Health and Development Law (The State Law and Order Restoration Council Law No. 17/1993) contains provisions on the protection of animals against basic forms of animal suffering, including deliberate acts and some forms of negligence or failure to act.

Article 25 of the law creates an offence of causing to work cruelly, wilfully ill-treating, unnecessarily maiming, wilfully keeping without food and water, neglecting to give proper treatment and care when sick or wounded, or letting to stray in a public place when diseased or wounded.

The law covers all domestic animals bred by man or captured for a certain purposes (Article 2).

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The Animal Health and Development Law updated the basic anti-cruelty regulations in legislation from 1930.

The law itself is very different from existing legislation in other countries insofar as it does not present a catalogue of situations or eventualities, but rather presents a framework in which the government can interact with citizens to improve animal welfare. The law covers mostly issues of animal health and its objectives (Chapter II) are the promotion of livestock, the control of animal disease and protection from ill treatment. As such, the legislation has linked economic development and public health to animal protection.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Article 18 of the Animal Health and Development Law allocates responsibility of enactment of animal protection legislation to the Director General of Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department. There is no evidence found in legislation that the government has allocated financial resources to undertake the implementation or enactment of the provisions found in the Animal Health and Development Law.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Breaches of the anti-cruelty provisions in Article 25 of the Animal Health and Development Law are punishable with a fine of up to 1000 Kyats (just over 1 U.S. Dollar).

D

Protecting animals used in farming

There is legislation with partial application

The Animal Health and Development Law is focused on the health of animals in farming, in particular on disease prevention and on quality of feed (from the point of view of ensuring quality of meat products for human consumption).

The anti-cruelty provisions in Article 25 apply to this category of animals, but there are no particular provisions on slaughter or rearing and there are no limits or specifications regarding the species that may be kept.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The country has introduced some animal protection measures in a law that mainly includes administrative powers and procedures for the trade of livestock and other production animals, but this is not currently fully effective to make the welfare of farmed animals a mainstream concern of society.

There is a degree of acknowledgment that production, health and welfare are interconnected, and the government is encouraged to make this link much more explicit and to produce more detailed regulation on commonly farmed species.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The lack of recognition of the importance of animal welfare as an issue separate to those of animal health and disease control is a considerable barrier to progress.

There are some responsibilities allocated both in the Ministry of Livestock Breeding and Fisheries and the Director General of Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department in terms of controlling the process, but there is no evidence that the law has allocated any financial resource for these activities.  

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Breaches of the anti-cruelty provisions in Article 25 of the Animal Health and Development Law are punishable with a fine of up to 1000 Kyats (just over 1 U.S. Dollar).

There are also administrative enforcement mechanisms set out in the law for animal health related issues, for example, under Article 5 the Director General has power to forbid the trade of feed that is harmful to animals.

Secondary legislation or further policy production may be needed for the objectives of the law to be met.  

G

Protecting animals in captivity

There is no policy or legislation

The protection in the Animal Health and Development Law includes domestic animals bred by man or captured for a certain purpose (Article 2). It is not clear whether this definition includes wild animals that have been captured and/or their captive-bred offspring, or whether it includes only domestic animals. To the extent that the definition includes animals kept in captivity, the general anti-cruelty provisions in Article 25 would apply to this category of animals.

With regard to public and private zoological collections, the Protection of Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas Law (The State Law and Order Restoration Council Law No. 6/94) is concerned with the establishment of zoological gardens as a means to protect wildlife, Under Article 17 of that law the Director General has power to make secondary regulation permitting the capture, farming or commercial sale of wild animals under certain conditions. Articles 21 to 24 make provisions for licensing zoos and botanical gardens, and under Article 35 it is an offence to operate without a licence. There are no explicit welfare considerations in this law.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

There is no evidence that the issue of the welfare of captive animals is covered by legislation in the country. There appears to be no recognition of the fact that captivity conditions can cause very poor welfare.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There appears to be a low awareness of the importance of providing for the welfare of captive animals. The lack of recognition of the importance of animal welfare as an issue separate to those of animal health and disease control is a considerable barrier to progress.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Breach of any secondary regulations made under the Protection of Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas Law on the farming and trade in wild animals, or operation of a zoo without a licence, would be an offence punishable with up to 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 10,000 kyats (Article 35). However it is not clear whether any such regulations have been made.

D

Protecting companion animals

There is legislation with partial application

The anti-cruelty provisions in Article 25 of the Animal Health and Development Law apply to this category of animals. In particular, Article 25 prohibits unnecessary maiming, which could be interpreted as a ban on cosmetic surgery but with no definition on what is considered as necessary, it is a provision that might be difficult to implement. 

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The legislation includes some general provisions prohibiting some specified forms of ill treatment of animals, including abandonment and preventing them from access to food and water. These may be important first steps towards raising awareness and making the welfare and protection of companion animals a mainstream concern of society.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There appears to be a low awareness of the importance of providing for the welfare of companion animals. There is a need for further legislative and policy development and it may be that an apparent general lack of concern for animals acts as a barrier to progress. The lack of recognition of the importance of animal welfare as an issue separate to those of animal health and disease control is a considerable barrier to progress.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Breaches of the anti-cruelty provisions in Article 25 of the Animal Health and Development Law are punishable with a fine of up to 1000 Kyats (just over 1 U.S. Dollar).

There are also administrative enforcement mechanisms set out in the law for animal health related issues, for example, under Article 5 the Director General has power to forbid the trade of feed that is harmful to animals.

D

Protecting animals used for draught and recreation

There is legislation with partial application

The anti-cruelty provisions in Article 25 of the Animal Health and Development Law apply to this category of animals.

Additionally the law does contain a specific reference to animals used for draught purposes. Article 18 specifies that the government will make provisions to limit the weight carried by certain species and breach of any such prescribed limits is a punishable offence under Article 25, although it is not clear whether any such provisions have been made.

There are no indications in the law of other conducts that could cause harm to these animals or to animals used in entertainment.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The specific reference in Articles 18 and 25 of the Animal Health and Development Law to draught/working animals may be included because of the importance of such animals to livelihoods and the economy. Raising awareness of the links between good animal health and welfare and profitability is a component of making animal welfare a mainstream concern of society.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There is no evidence of existing efforts to provide financial support to the activities that said authorities are meant to undertake with respect to implementation of the law. It may be that there are no significant barriers to progress in this area because of the importance of working animals to the economy, but there is no apparent evidence of secondary legislation as envisaged by Article 18 of the Animal Health and Development Law.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Breaches of the anti-cruelty provisions in Article 25 of the Animal Health and Development Law, including a breach of any weight restrictions that may be made under Article 18, are punishable with a fine of up to 1000 Kyats (just over 1 U.S. Dollar).

G

Protecting animals used in scientific research

There is no policy or legislation

No evidence was found on the existence of policy and legislation for the protection of animals used in scientific research.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

There is no evidence that the government has developed any form of legal protection to animals used for scientific research including educational, cosmetic or other forms of surgical or invasive manipulation. There is no evidence showing that the country has an understanding of the welfare consequences of such activities on animals.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There is no policy or legislation developed relevant to this indicator. There is a need for further legislative and policy development and it may be that an apparent general lack of concern for animals acts as a barrier to progress.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There is no policy or legislation relevant to this indicator.

D

Protecting the welfare of wild animals

There is legislation with partial application

The Protection of Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas Law (The State Law and Order Restoration Council Law No. 6/94) published in 1994 has a series of provisions for the protection of animals in the wild. The objectives of this law include wildlife protection and the conservation of natural areas (Article 3), but generally the law establishes powers for implementation of these objectives by secondary measures, for example, for different types of nature reserves to be established (Article 7) and for lists of protected species to be determined (Article 15). There is a general ban on hunting animals in natural reserves or protected species and a system of licences for hunters, with no welfare considerations (Article 19). Article 17 envisages secondary legislation permitting species of wild animals to be raised on a commercial basis.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The existing legislation is focused on conservation and not on the welfare of individual animals. There are mechanisms by which the relevant authorities can establish natural reserves and protect natural habitats as well as specify categories of endangered species.

It is not positive, from a welfare point of view, that the legislation envisages secondary regulations permitting species of wild animals to be captured and raised on a commercial basis (Article 17).

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

A number of authorities are given specific tasks and responsibilities under the Protection of Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas Law, and there is evidence of a system of fines, licences and fees which provide financial resource for the activities allocated to the authorities. In addition, and specifically for the enactment of this law, there is a Committee for the Protection of Wildlife and Natural Areas, with representatives on high level of government and with specific powers to undertake legal responsibilities.

The powers to make secondary regulations under the Protection of Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas Law may provide some opportunity for welfare considerations to be introduced, for example, in relation to conditions to be imposed on hunting licence holders.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are enforcement mechanisms under the Protection of Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas Law, which relate to secondary regulations to be made under that law. It is not clear whether any such secondary regulations have been made.

Governance structures and systems

Governance structures and systems

This theme examines government commitment to improving animal protection. This includes whether there is allocation of responsibility, accountability and resources within government.

F

Government accountability for animal welfare

There is legislation with partial application

There is no evidence of a dedicated structure, body or organ that has the responsibility of promoting animal welfare.

In relation to the protection and conservation of wild animals, Article 4 of the Protection of Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas Law establishes a committee with particular responsibilities on the promotion of further policy and the task of enacting the provisions found in law, but this law does not focus on animal welfare protection.

The Animal Health and Development Law includes a set of specific responsibilities on the Ministry of Livestock Breeding and Fisheries and the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department.  

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The government has recognised some issues that can potentially impact animal welfare and has put some mechanisms into place. However, there appears to be a general low level of awareness of welfare issues relating to a number of categories of animals. There also appears to be a failure to recognise animal welfare as an independent issue that needs to be addressed by the government in a way that allows citizens and other branches, departments and organs of the government to understand and link animal welfare to other policy concerns and challenges.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The lack of recognition of animal welfare as an independent issue requiring coordinated government attention and action is a barrier to progress.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Although responsibilities have been allocated in some areas to some government bodies, the legal system is extremely open, requiring implementation by secondary regulation and thus leaving narrow room for enforcement of such responsibilities. Generally government bodies are given powers to make secondary provisions but are not required to do so and there is no mention of animal welfare considerations in this process. The government would benefit from policy and secondary legislation production to address this gap. 

Animal welfare standards

Animal welfare standards

This theme examines whether the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)’s animal welfare standards have been incorporated into law or policy, the extent of engagement with the OIE on animal welfare issues, and whether the government publishes reports on progress in improving animal welfare.

D

Engagement with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

There is policy

There are some indications that the country is engaging actively with OIE programmes for the improvement of animal welfare. The country is participating on the Regional Animal Welfare Strategy for Asia Pacific and has provided status reports to the OIE of improvement of animal health in the country, as evidenced in the Final Report of the 26th conference of the OIE Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania in 2009. According to this report, Myanmar successfully managed to control a number of animal diseases.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The country has taken important steps to work on the control of animal health and on participating in veterinary programmes and missions. This is yet to be translated into more specific animal welfare provisions. There is no doubt that protecting animal health is a crucial step into developing policy and legislation on animal welfare. The government is encouraged to make use of OIE resources, including standards and principles on animal welfare, to inform future initiatives on animal protection.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The government has a policy of interacting with OIE, but the policy is mostly limited to contributions to animal health improvement, although steps within the region on animal welfare measures are starting to be reported. There is no evidence of human or financial resource in existence to develop work on animal welfare improvement with the OIE. The lack of recognition of the importance of animal welfare as an issue separate to those of animal health and disease control is a considerable barrier to progress. However, the government is engaging with the OIE and the country’s participation in the Regional Animal Welfare Strategy for Asia Pacific presents an opportunity to improve animal welfare nationally.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There is no evidence of existing enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.

G

OIE animal welfare standards

There is no policy or legislation

All of the OIE’s standards have yet to be transposed into legislation and policy in the country.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The OIE’s standards on animal welfare not only represent a consensual position achieved by countries represented in the organisation with regard to this subject matter, but also provide the necessary scientific background to produce sound policy and legislation on animal welfare. The government is encouraged to produce policy and legislation covering the animal welfare standards and principles.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Myanmar is a member of the OIE and as such has given its support to the OIE’s animal welfare standards and guiding principles for animal welfare. The government is therefore encouraged to incorporate the OIE’s standards and principles within the country’s legislation. The fact that Myanmar is participating in the Regional Animal Welfare Strategy for Asia Pacific and has made successful efforts with respect to animal health indicates that it may be possible to take action to incorporate the OIE’s guiding principles on animal welfare and its animal welfare standards into the country’s legislation and policy.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There is no policy or legislation relevant to this indicator.

G

Reporting on progress

There is no policy or legislation

There is no evidence of policy or legislation relevant to this indicator.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

There is no evidence of policy or legislation relevant to this indicator.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

As the country does not have any targeted policy or legislation on which reports could be formulated, reporting activities would be extremely difficult to pursue. However the government has provided some reports to the OIE on the subject of animal health, which demonstrates that the government may be willing to report on animal welfare issues, if financial and practical barriers are not insurmountable.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There is no policy or legislation relevant to this indicator.

Providing humane education

Providing humane education

This theme examines whether issues of animal care and protection are included in the national education system at primary and secondary level, and comments on whether animal welfare issues such as humane handling form part of veterinary medicine education.

E

Education on animal care and protection

There is legislation with partial application

There is no evidence that the national curriculum includes humane education.

However the Animal Health and Development Law includes provisions for relevant authorities to promote education on relevant issues. Article 18(a) and (c) provide that the Director General should “carry out educative measures” to prevent ill treatment as well to prevent methods of transport and keeping of animals. There is no further development of these provisions evidenced in law.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

There is a legislative commitment to carry out educational tasks by the government (Article 18 Animal Health and Development Law) but no evidence has been found according to which official government literature has been produced to implement the law.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The government has allocated responsibility in the Director General for Livestock and Breeding for the formulation of educational measures and awareness programmes, but there is no financial resource, nor elements within the law to facilitate this process. The lack of specific forms of commitment means that there are no official avenues to assess the status of this task or a way to manage it in order to be improved.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Although there is a legal mandate to carry out educative measures (Article 18 Animal Health and Development Law), there is no clarity on what is required by way of action on this and thus enforcement of this responsibility would be very difficult. Development of secondary legislation or policy complementing the legal mandate may be a valid mechanism to give strength to existing legislation.

Promoting communication and awareness

Promoting communication and awareness

This theme examines whether there is government consultation and engagement with relevant stakeholders on animal protection issues, such as the development of new legislation and policy and the licensing of scientific research using animals.

E

Consultation with stakeholders

Policy is being discussed or developed

The existing legislation does not require decision-making processes to include consultation with wider sectors, despite the various provisions in the Animal Health and Development Law and the Protection of Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas Law envisaging the production of secondary legislation. However, there is evidence that the government has worked with animal welfare organisations in the past and has expressed interest in continuing this work in the future. For example, the country has engaged with organisations such as World Animal Protection regarding disaster management[1] and with Save the Elephant Foundation on elephants.[2]

 

[1] http://www.worldanimalprotection.ca/Images/UDAW_CaseStudy_disasters_tcm2...

[2] https://www.facebook.com/notes/save-elephant-foundation/save-elephant-fo...

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Myanmar has experienced a radical political transition in the last few years and is only now taking the first steps into working collaboratively with organisations on animal welfare. This is an acknowledgment of the importance of the issue, even if it is from a perspective of economic sustainability and protection of livelihoods. Important work has been developed by the government with respect to animal health.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There is no evidence of existing mechanisms in policy and legislation that would provide for continued interaction between the government and relevant stakeholders. However, it appears that the government has engaged with stakeholders with respect to animal health, disaster and conservation issues and it may be that such interactions provide models for successful future collaboration.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There is no evidence of current policy and legislation relevant to this indicator.

Countries Selected
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The EIU predicts that real GDP will grow at a rate of 5.5% for the year 2013/14. In fact, there is currently “FDI (foreign direct investment) in energy, oil prospecting and infrastructure”, which will also drive growth.  However, although consumption growth is at 4%, the reality is that a large percentage of the population live in poverty. As the country is currently undergoing political liberalisation, and sanctions (restrictions on financial aid to Myanmar were partially lifted in 2012 by the EU and US) are being lifted, the EIU predicts the economy will grow at 6.9% going forward.  Interestingly, international oil companies are currently “bidding for exploration and production rights in 30 offshore oil and gas fields in Myanmar”.

 

Date of information: 11/02/2014
Population 
52,797,319
GDP 
NA
GDP (PPP) 
NA
Education expenditure (% of GDP) 
0.8 (2011)