Brexit could mean a disaster for animal welfare! Act now to ensure animals are still recognised as sentient beings by UK law, when we leave the EU
Our current UK law concerning animals and their welfare, The Animal Welfare Act 2006, stipulates that vertebrate animals are sentient beings. This means that they are conscious and capable of feeling, perceiving and suffering, and makes it a crime to violate their welfare. These regulations were transposed from EU legislation, where sentience was first introduced in 1997. Since then, animal welfare must be tantamount when creating new legislation that concerns animals in all EU countries.
However, now that the UK is leaving the EU, it seems that we are disregarding animal sentience and protection of animal welfare. The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill enacts Brexit and contains all of the stipulations that have been taken from current EU legislation surrounding animal welfare, ready to be moved into UK law. This has now been published, and worryingly there is no mention of animals as sentient beings or the requirement for government to pay full regard to their welfare.
Animal Equality is supporting Compassion in World Farming in the call for animal welfare and sentience to be included in any and all of the UK’s regulations concerning vertebrate animals.
Without this clause, animals on UK farms, in UK laboratories, in people’s homes and in slaughterhouses could be abused and mistreated with no punishment given for ignoring their welfare and/or harming them.
We urge all of our supporters to sign the petition and write to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, demanding that animal sentience be recognised and protected by UK law, before Brexit negotiations come to an end.
Please give the animals your voice today!