Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Animal Sentience after Brexit

23 November 2017

Categories: Homepage News

Born Free shares the concerns raised by many people and campaigning organisations regarding the recent failure to transpose the important principle that animals are sentient beings directly into UK law in advance of Brexit.

We sincerely hope that there may be opportunities at later stages of consideration of Brexit legislation to examine this issue carefully, and in light of the strength of public opinion.

We are concerned that derogations to the EU’s animal sentience principle do not prevent animal suffering, and it is important to ensure that those derogations cannot be used as loopholes to diminish animal protection if the statement is directly reflected in UK law.

We welcome today’s position statement from the Environment Secretary, in which he made it clear that any necessary changes to UK law resulting from Brexit will ensure animal sentience is recognised, and the intention is to strengthen the UK’s animal welfare rules. However, he indicated his opinion that the Withdrawal Bill currently going through Parliament is not the right place to do this.

Whether the exact language of the EU’s sentience principle is included on the UK statute book, or whether an alternative mechanism is identified to reflect the principle of sentience across all animals capable of feeling pain and suffering, it is vital that practical measures are implemented and improved to ensure that all such animals are protected now and into the future.

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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