Animal conservation: a 'Brit' invention?

Mar 2014
8,881
Canterbury
In 676 St Cuthbert, a Northumbrian who was patron saint of the north until it got its own angel, declared that eiders and other breeding birds on the Farne Islands were to be protected from hunters. There is no known economic logic behind this: it was just a bird conservation measure.

What I want to know is, are there earlier examples of bird or animal protection laws anywhere else in the world? Or is Britain the world leader in stopping their goose from being cooked? ;)
 

Lowell2

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,541
California
eiders produce eider down, so it really was economic, not just "save the animals".

special areas were set up for rabbits (introduced to England), so that might be similar.
 

Lowell2

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,541
California
French Salic law (Clovis) has this: Title XXXIII. Concerning the Theft of hunting animals.
The Avalon Project : The Salic Law.
2. If any one have stolen a tame marked stag (-hound ?), trained to hunting, and it shall have been proved through witnesses that his master had him for hunting, or had killed with him two or three beasts, he shall be sentenced to 1800 denars, which make 45 shillings.

Property Rights: Roman Concepts - ferae naturae wild animals
Institutes of Justinian recognized the right of an owner of land to forbid another from killing game on his property, as, indeed, this right was impliedly admitted by the Digest in the passage just cited. Inst. Bk. 2, tit. 1, 12.