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Great news: UK Government announces legislation to recognise animal sentience post-Brexit

News Icon 12/12/2017

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Cows show excitement when they discover how to open a gate leading to a food reward

I am delighted by the Government’s announcement of its plans to introduce legislation to recognise animal sentience. 

I would like to thank Defra Secretary of State, Michael Gove, for his announcement that new legislation will require the Government to pay regard to animal sentience when formulating and implementing policy.

Thank you to Compassion’s wonderful supporters and to everyone who campaigned for the Government to retain recognition of animals as sentient beings post-Brexit.  We had over 155,000 signatures on our petition to retain their status as sentient beings.

I am so pleased that the Government has listened and responded with Michael Gove stating earlier today: "We are a nation of animal lovers so we will make Brexit work not just for citizens but for the animals we love and cherish too".

The legal status of animals is an important principle. The recognition by the EU of animals as sentient beings changed animal protection campaigning forever. It strengthened our calls for reform. It meant that EU law reflected both the scientific evidence and the message of common sense: that animals are not ‘goods’ or ‘products’, but living, breathing individuals, capable of feeling pain, suffering and experiencing joy. A wide range of animals are thinking, feeling beings. What happens to them matters to them – and also to the majority of UK consumers and citizens.

I am very much looking forward to seeing more details of the proposed legislation and will be working to ensure the final bill is as strong as possible. 

Image credit: BigStock


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