Should We Try to Change Animal Welfare Laws in India or Taiwan?- Charity Entrepreneurship’s Approach Report

The fol­low­ing re­port is part of re­search con­ducted by Char­ity En­trepreneur­ship in 2019 look­ing into le­gal change as a po­ten­tial ap­proach used to im­ple­ment asks.

The full re­port is available for down­load here.

In 2020 we will be fol­low­ing a new re­search pro­cess (de­tails will be pub­lished soon).

Scope of re­search and de­scrip­tion of the approach

Poli­ti­cal ad­vo­cacy is used widely by other so­cial move­ments and cor­po­ra­tions to gain lev­er­age over key is­sues, but within the an­i­mal ad­vo­cacy move­ment, this ap­proach has mainly been used in more de­vel­oped na­tions with ini­ti­a­tives such as Prop 12 in the an­i­mal ad­vo­cacy move­ment view gov­ern­ment cam­paigns as an im­por­tant strat­egy to im­prove an­i­mal welfare in the long term [2]. En­cod­ing welfare asks in the law has been used to build on the past suc­cess of cor­po­rate cam­paigns while avoid­ing some of the draw­backs of cor­po­rate cam­paigns such as re­ci­di­vism [3]. Even so, this ap­proach for af­fect­ing change is cur­rently rel­a­tively un­com­mon, with only 8 of An­i­mal Char­ity Eval­u­a­tors’ 20 re­viewed or­ga­ni­za­tions work­ing on gov­ern­men­tal out­reach (where gov­ern­men­tal out­reach is broadly defined as lob­by­ing), and even this is in a limited ca­pac­ity (com­bined they spent 19.4% of their bud­get [4] (note that this es­ti­mate from ACE doesn’t in­clude spend­ing on Prop 12 [1])).

Of the coun­tries ex­am­ined in our pri­or­ity coun­try anal­y­sis [5] and cru­cial con­sid­er­a­tions re­search [6], Taiwan and In­dia seemed par­tic­u­larly promis­ing, as they have had a rel­a­tively large and grow­ing farmed an­i­mal pop­u­la­tion com­pared to fund­ing and ap­pear to be more open to in­fluence on this is­sue.

In this re­port, the ex­pected cost-effec­tive­ness of a new gov­ern­ment cam­paign in Taiwan and In­dia is es­ti­mated. In Taiwan the cam­paign is for dis­solved oxy­gen for farmed fish, and in In­dia the cam­paign is for feed for­tifi­ca­tion for egg-lay­ing hens. Th­ese welfare asks were cho­sen as they were found to be promis­ing in Char­ity En­trepreneur­ship’s pre­vi­ous re­search into im­prov­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions for farmed an­i­mals [7] and helping an­i­mals by chang­ing their diet [8]. We are fo­cus­ing on fish in Taiwan due to its high lev­els of pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion of fish [9], and we are fo­cus­ing on egg-lay­ing hens in In­dia as In­dia is re­port­edly the third-largest and fastest-grow­ing egg pro­ducer in the world, with the in­dus­try grow­ing at 6%–8% per year [10]. As this ap­proach has been rel­a­tively ne­glected so far, there isn’t much re­search into its effec­tive­ness, so we used a broad ev­i­dence base to try to get the best sense of the whole pic­ture. To do this, we have ex­am­ined the size of the effect and the his­tor­i­cal suc­cess rate of bills and refer­en­dums in the coun­try.

Table of contents


The cur­rent data sug­gest that a gov­ern­men­tal cam­paign for a dis­solved oxy­gen bill for farmed fish in Taiwan looks like a rel­a­tively promis­ing, cost-effec­tive in­ter­ven­tion for im­prov­ing farmed an­i­mal welfare. It also ap­pears that a gov­ern­men­tal cam­paign for food for­tifi­ca­tion in In­dia is one of the less cost-effec­tive in­ter­ven­tions for an­i­mals that Char­ity En­trepreneur­ship has re­searched. Our sub­jec­tive con­fi­dence that this con­clu­sion is cor­rect is ~70%. For com­par­i­son, a well-ex­e­cuted gov­ern­ment cam­paign in Taiwan is ex­pected to be mod­er­ately less, or equally as cost-effec­tive as launch­ing a new cor­po­rate out­reach cam­paign con­cern­ing a pri­or­ity ask in a pri­or­ity coun­try (where launch­ing a cor­po­rate cam­paign for DO in Viet­nam [97] is used as the di­rect point of com­par­i­son), whereas a gov­ern­ment cam­paign in In­dia is ex­pected to be less cost-effec­tive than launch­ing a new cor­po­rate out­reach cam­paign. Although this is a use­ful com­par­i­son, we are less cer­tain about the rel­a­tive cost-effec­tive­ness of this in­ter­ven­tion com­pared to cor­po­rate out­reach.