UK's animals no longer recognised as sentient beings

soybean harvest

By current European law, animals are recognised as sentient beings, acknowledging their ability to feel pain, suffer and also experience joy. No one who has seen a cow going outside for the first time after a winter indoors, a hen dust bathing, or a pig wallowing in a fresh patch of mud would disagree with that. The law says that as animals are sentient beings, full regard must be given to their welfare when creating new legislation or regulations.

Securing this status for animals was a massive step forward for animal welfare in 1997. It was the biggest campaign Compassion has ever run. The recognition of animals as complex and intelligent creatures has been the cornerstone of European animal welfare legislation since that time, and the basis for so much of the progress we have made together.

So what’s the problem?

The Repeal Bill, which moves all European law into UK law once we leave the EU, has left out this important protection. It is completely absent; both the recognition of animals as sentient beings, and the requirement for governments to pay “full regard” to their welfare.

Once the UK leaves the EU, we cannot be sure that future Governments will still treat animals as sentient beings. Please demand that the clause is brought into UK law.

This could be a disaster for animal welfare. We cannot let this happen. Please sign this petition calling on Michael Gove to take urgent action.

You can find out more about the problem here.

And more about the technical details of the change in legislation here.

Take action

Please sign this petition to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to tell him that animals are sentient beings and this needs to be recognised by law.

 
 
 
 
   
 
 

By current European law, animals are recognised as sentient beings, acknowledging their ability to feel pain, suffer and also experience joy. No one who has seen a cow going outside for the first time after a winter indoors, a hen dust bathing, or a pig wallowing in a fresh patch of mud would disagree with that. The law says that as animals are sentient beings, full regard must be given to their welfare when creating new legislation or regulations.

Securing this status for animals was a massive step forward for animal welfare in 1997. It was the biggest campaign Compassion has ever run. The recognition of animals as complex and intelligent creatures has been the cornerstone of European animal welfare legislation since that time, and the basis for so much of the progress we have made together.

So what’s the problem?

The Repeal Bill, which moves all European law into UK law once we leave the EU, has left out this important protection. It is completely absent; both the recognition of animals as sentient beings, and the requirement for governments to pay “full regard” to their welfare.

Once the UK leaves the EU, we cannot be sure that future Governments will still treat animals as sentient beings. Please demand that the clause is brought into UK law.

This could be a disaster for animal welfare. We cannot let this happen. Please sign this petition calling on Michael Gove to take urgent action.

You can find out more about the problem here.

And more about the technical details of the change in legislation here.