"A sentient animal is one for whom feelings matter"
Professor John Webster, University of Bristol
Scientific research is constantly revealing new evidence of animals’ intelligence and emotions. This interest is reflected in burgeoning numbers of journals, books and reports. Professor Marian Dawkins of the Oxford University has called the study of animal sentience "one of the most exciting and the most important in the whole of biology."
There is now evidence that many animals can learn new skills and some appear to show emotions similar to human empathy. They can also be reduced to a state resembling human depression by chronic stress or confinement in a cage. This new understanding of the sentience of animals has huge implications for the way we treat them and the policies and laws we adopt.