The principle which underlies all modern child protection legislation unites the cause of children's rights with the parallel cause of Animal Rights. Government intervenes to prevent or remedy a child's fear, hunger, pain, suffering, abuse and even death, because children are incapable, mentally and physically, of protecting themselves from these conditions. So, too, are animals. Like children, they are defenseless. Like children, they can experience fear, hunger, pain, suffering, abuse and death. Like children, government has a duty to protect them.
This proposition-that government has an obligation to protect animals, at least to some extent-is not novel. Already, at least somewhat in existing animal protection legislation, government does recognize and implement its responsibility.
Regrettably, however, this sort of legislation is woefully inadequate.