Animal Sentience

Stopping cruelty to animals has always been a priority for the British public. Yet this week, our MPs voted to scrap the law recognising that animals can think, feel, and suffer pain and so should be treated well. [1] It’s a setback in the fight against animal cruelty, and one that only a big public outcry can reverse.

The vote was snuck through parliament quietly, but it’s not final yet. If just ten more MPs had voted to keep this key legal protection for animals, you wouldn’t be reading this email today. [2]

Politicians could soon get another chance to make sure animals’ ability to think and feel pain is recognised by law. [3] A massive petition, signed by hundreds of thousands of us, could make sure the next time this law is voted on, politicians know we expect them to stand up for our animals.

If you agree animals can feel pain and emotion and should be treated humanely sign the petition now. It takes less than 30 seconds to add your name:

SIGN THE PETITION

Scrapping the legal principle of “animal sentience” removes a key legal protection in the battle to stop animal cruelty. Right now, rules about how we treat animals have to take into account their ability to feel pain and emotion. Scrapping this principle could clear the way for weaker protections in animal testing labs, farms, and across the British countryside. [4]

A big petition, signed by hundreds of thousands of us, will show the government that the British public do not want to take an enormous backward step when it comes to animal welfare. It will mean the next time this law comes up for a vote in parliament it can’t be quietly scrapped.

 

NOTES:
[1] The Independent: MPs vote ‘that animals cannot feel pain or emotions’ into the Brexit bill:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/brexit-bill-latest-animal-sentience-cannot-feel-pain-emotion-vote-mps-agree-eu-withdrawal-bill-a8064676.html
[2] MPs voted by 313 to 295 against an amendment that would have carried over into British law the EU’s recognition of animals as sentient beings when we Brexit:
The Metro: MPs vote that ‘animals can’t feel pain or emotion’ as part of Brexit bill:
http://metro.co.uk/2017/11/20/mps-vote-that-animals-cant-feel-pain-or-emotion-as-part-of-brexit-bill-7093881/
[3] This vote by MPs was part of the EU Withdrawal Bill – the bill that sets out how EU laws will be carried over into UK law when we Brexit. The EU Withdrawal bill is currently in committee stage, and before it is passed into law there will be many more votes in both the House of Commons and House of Lords:
Parliament.UK: European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19:
https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2017-19/europeanunionwithdrawal.html
[4] RSPCA Head of Public Affairs David Bowles said it is a “truly backward step” for animal welfare.
Farming UK: MPs vote to reject inclusion of animal sentience in Withdrawal Bill:
https://www.farminguk.com/news/MPs-vote-to-reject-inclusion-of-animal-sentience-in-Withdrawal-Bill_47923.html
British Veterinary Association (BVA):
Rejection of animal sentience from Brexit Bill risks UK short-fall on high animal welfare standards:
https://www.bva.co.uk/news-campaigns-and-policy/newsroom/news-releases/bva—rejection-of-animal-sentience-from-brexit-bill-risks-uk-shortfall-on-high-animal-welfare-standards/