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Toby

Recognising animal sentience in UK law

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Posted (edited)

A petition well worth signing. 

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EU law recognises animals as sentient beings, aware of their feelings and emotions. Animals are at risk of losing these vital legal protections, post-Brexit. We want a BetterDealForAnimals: a law that creates a duty for all Ministers in the UK to fully regard animal welfare in policy making.

Sign the petition - https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/242239

It's hard to believe this kind of thing isn't cemented in law in 2019. This along with the recent bill to ban dog meat consumption in the UK should be a priority in my opinion. I suppose you could say that in a modern society legislation for things like this should not be required. As a society we don't eat dog meat so what is the problem? The problem is other regions of the world that do eat dog meat and are under pressure to ban it can point to us not actually banning it as a reason not to act.

Edited by Toby
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Government response

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The Government is committed to the very highest standards of animal welfare as we leave the EU. There has never been any question that this Government’s policies on animal welfare are driven by the fact that animals are sentient beings. We will make any necessary changes required to UK law in a rigorous and comprehensive way to ensure animal sentience is recognised after we leave the EU.

The Government’s view is that the current protections provided by Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) have not delivered the progress we want to see and that once we have left the EU we can do better. Article 13 only applies to a limited number of EU policy areas, provides some wide-ranging exemptions and most importantly, there is little scope for the duty to be enforced. As such, it has not prevented some practices in EU member states, which we would consider cruel and painful to animals. 

In contrast, the Government will ensure that animal sentience is not only recognised in domestic law, but that we will have an effective and proportionate means of taking animal sentience into account in policy making. 

Here in the UK, we are already improving animal welfare standards without EU input and beyond the scope of Article 13. The Government is committed to taking action to improve animal welfare at home and abroad, including by increasing maximum sentences for animal cruelty, banning third party sales of puppies, and introducing one of the world’s toughest bans on ivory sales. We have also made CCTV mandatory in slaughterhouses and we are planning other reforms. These steps show how seriously this Government gives regard to animal welfare.

As we move towards a new relationship with Europe and the rest of the world, we have a unique opportunity to shape future animal welfare policy in the UK to ensure our already high animal welfare standards are maintained and enhanced.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

 

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Over 80,000 signatures now. There is clear public support for this even with people having been asked to sign two petitions.

Both crimes are of course inexcusable but it’s crazy that metal theft has harsher sentences. 

There are lots of issues like this one currently not getting the attention they deserve. Time to get Brexit wrapped up now please 🙂 

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