The paper explores the use of animal symbolism and references to the treatment of animals in constitutional systems across the globe. It argues that the study of “constitutional zoology” provides key insights into the role of animal symbolism in constitutions for manufacturing the identity of the nation, which often masks forms of ethnocultural nationalism. Constitutional references to animals through directive principles of state policy and constitutional provisions regulating the treatment of animals sheds light on the state’s identity as a developmental state, environmentally conscious state or animal-friendly state. The paper presents a taxonomy of ‘constitutional zoology’ that classifies the different ways in which constitutional systems refer to animals and regulate their treatment. It reveals that the symbolic use of animals often has a concrete impact on people’s lives and that such clauses contain a degree of symbolism aimed at promoting a certain identity of the state.
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