"Together we can ensure the rights of animals, so apparent to all of us who cherish them, are recognised in law."
Purpose of the Animal Sentience Bill
The Bill requires Ministers to consider animal welfare needs when making and implementing policies and establishes an Animal Sentience Committee (ASC) to scrutinise all policies that may impact the welfare of animals.
World Animal Protection seeks to overturn the entrenched global systems that cause so much suffering and anguish to animals, it is imperative that the Animal Sentience Bill is passed as soon as possible.
The Bill is vital to achieving lasting changes for wildlife and farmed animals – it will embed consideration of the interest of animals in policymaking for the first time. Yet further delays mean the Animal Sentience Bill has still not completed its final stages in Parliament.
Third Reading of the Bill
On 14th March the third reading of the Animal Sentience Bill took place.
Whilst many MPs spoke up in favour of the Bill, it was disappointing to see that the Government has supported an amendment that has now delayed the progress of the Bill and will limit the protection it offers animals.
Backbench Conservative MPs requested that recommendations made by the Animal Sentience Committee should respect customs related to cultural traditions and regional heritage.
Essentially, this means that the amendment will give added protection to so called cultural traditions which includes cruel blood sports such as fox hunting.
MPs spoke up for animal welfare in parliament
Whilst the inclusion of the new amendment to the Animal Sentience Bill is disappointing, it was great to hear so many MPs supporting the Bill during its third reading.
Jim McMahon(Lab. Co-op) was clear that all animals deserve protection, whether they are pets, wild animals, ocean animals or farm animals. Jim reminded the Government of their commitments to end the export of live animals for fattening and slaughter.
Tim Farron(Lib. Dem.) shared his concerns about the impact of UK trade agreements on animal sentience. Tim spoke about Australia’s low animal welfare standards and how by signing trade deals with Australia, the UK is effectively endorsing cruel farming practices abroad.
Dr Neil Hudson(Cons) welcomed the Bill and urged the Government to keep its manifesto and policy promises to ban fur and foie gras.
Deidre Brock(SNP) explained that the SNP supports the Bill but believes that it could be strengthened to recognise the rights of sentient animals undergoing scientific testing and military experiments.
The Bill has got this far due to the hard work of our supporters – thank you!
We need your continued support
We ask for your continued support as we campaign for the Government to deliver its Animal Welfare Action Plan, including the Kept Animals Bill and Animals Abroad Bill, both of which are under threat.
The decision to drop these Bills is being considered to save parliamentary time to focus on the war in Ukraine, which is at the front of all our minds at the moment. We’re therefore urging the Government to deliver on its previous commitments to help end animal cruelty, as soon as parliamentary time allows.
Together we can ensure the rights of animals, so apparent to all of us who cherish them, are recognised in law.
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