Thanks to you, over 60 MPs attended our Parliamentary reception with Michael Gove

27 February 2019

With time running out for animals, thousands of you pushed your MPs into supporting a #BetterDealForAnimals

As it stands, deal or no deal, animals will lose vital legal protections post-Brexit, unless Michael Gove introduces protections before departure from the EU.

Together with celebrity activist Alesha Dixon and a coalition of animal welfare charities, we have launched a petition on the UK Government and Parliament website, calling for immediate action.

Image: Dairy cow grazing on pastures at Eastby Farm, UK.

Thanks to the thousands of emails our supporters sent to their local MPs, our Parliamentary event saw great turnout, with over 60 MPs attending and supporting animal welfare laws in post-Brexit United Kingdom.

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, also spoke and gave his backing for a better deal for animals, but failed to introduce any legal protections for animals, despite the call from the MPs and the 36 animal protection organisations in attendance.

Image: Michael Gove speaks in favour of a better Brexit deal for animals. Photo: James McCauley

Animal sentience is currently included in EU law but has not been carried across into UK law. As Brexit fast approaches, the petition calls on the UK Government to ensure this will be explicitly enshrined in law and for any future legislation or government policy to fully consider its impact on the welfare of animals.

Sonul Badiani-Hamment, #BetterDealForAnimals event organiser and External Affairs Adviser for World Animal Protection said: 

Whilst we welcome the many assurances from Government, and again today from Michael Gove at our reception, time is running out for animals and we need action now.

 

Today was a missed opportunity for the Secretary of State who should have announced that he is enacting legislation without delay to stay true to his public commitments and protect animals post-Brexit.

 

If he really wants the UK to be a world leader in animal welfare, it’s time to act before animals become victims of Brexit.”

Image: MPs Alistair Carmichael, Deidre Brock, Nic Dakin and Zac Goldsmith, who sponsored the event at Parliament. Photo: James McCauley

This event was sponsored by Nic Dakin MP (Lab), Zac Goldsmith MP (Con), Tim Farron MP (Lib Dem), and Deidre Brock MP (SNP). Sue Hayman MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) addressed MPs and Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP gave the key note address.

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said:

“Animals are sentient beings who feel pain and suffering, so it is absolutely right that we recognise this in UK law after we leave the EU.

 

I was delighted to attend this important Parliamentary reception and hear from the many charities involved about how we can maintain and enhance our reputation as a leader on animal welfare.

 

Our plans to increase protections for animals include raising the maximum sentence for animal cruelty from six months to five years and banning third-party sales of puppies and kittens. I will continue to make sure we have the strongest legal protections in place for our animals.”

Together with a coalition of 36 prominent animal welfare organisations, we are also calling for a new independent Animal Welfare Advisory Council to provide advice to all government ministers at the UK and devolved level. This body would support governments in fulfilling their duties to animals, ensuring decisions are underpinned by the best scientific and ethics expertise.

We need your help securing a better deal for animals

  • Please sign the petition on the Government website, calling for vital legal protections to make it into UK law.
  • Get involved in the online debate: use the hashtag #BetterDealForAnimals on social media.

 

"It’s time to act before animals become victims of Brexit" - Sonul Badiani-Hamment, External Affairs Adviser for World Animal Protection
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