Animal sentience bill – great news!

26 January 2022


UK law to recognise animals as sentient beings is one step closer. Thanks to all of you who lobbied their MP to support the Bill’s second reading.

Born Free welcomes the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill passing its second reading in the House of Commons on 18 January and progressing on to the committee stage. As a result, the Bill has come one step closer to becoming enshrined in UK law, and with it the legal recognition that animals can feel and experience emotions such as joy, pleasure, pain and fear.

The Better Deal for Animals coalition, a group of over 50 animal protection organisations of which Born Free is a prominent member, called on the public to support the Bill, which resulted in good numbers of MPs speaking out in support. Thank you to everyone who wrote to their MP urging them to voice their support!

Although the Bill passed its second reading with relative ease, a small group of Conservative backbenchers remain opposed. The Bill now enters a crucial stage where detailed examination takes place and amendments can be tabled by MPs to alter, remove, or add sections to the Bill. 

“We will continue to work with coalition partners and supportive MPs to ensure the Bill is not weakened, and where possible to strengthen it, as it progresses through the parliamentary process,” explained Born Free’s Captivity Research Officer Chris Lewis.