How far should right for animals be it pets, livestock, or the food industry be monitored and kept under law?

I know for many places, animals get abused far too often and far too cruel to be considered even remotely humane.  

Jeroen

We need to treat them well, but putting them at an equal level as humans is over the top. I hate it when certain types of people demand that the rights of humans are hurt, just so that some fluffy animal has their "right".

Also, I believe there is a difference between legal rights, and moral rights. I think we are morally obliged to respect the basic rights of anything living. Putting them at an equal level in the courtroom is something else.