Thank you to everyone who has contacted me about ensuring animal welfare and supporting the recognition of animal sentience in UK law.
I believe that animal sentience must be enshrined in UK law. When the European Union Withdrawal Act was making its way through Parliament, I supported an amendment to include Article 13, which would incorporate the EU recognition of animals as sentient beings, into UK law. Despite indicating that the Act would incorporate Article 13, it is disappointing that the Government voted against its inclusion.
Many of you also contacted me about attending the debate about animal sentience on 9th September. Unfortunately, MPs have not had a chance to debate this bill as Brexit is dominating Parliamentary business. I would like to reassure everyone that has been in touch with me that I agree it is vital to enshrine the principle of animal sentience in law to prevent practices that expose both wild and domestic animals to cruel and degrading treatment, and to ensure that government and public bodies must have due regard to animal sentience.
I was very pleased to see that the Labour Party has gone further and in August we launched our Animal Welfare Manifesto. In this manifesto we pledged to, as well as recognising animal sentience, strengthen animal welfare further in UK law, propose a comprehensive review of animal testing and enhancing the Hunting Act. You can read about these and the rest of our pledges here: https://labour.org.uk/issues/animal-welfare-manifesto/