Government ‘makes good on its promises’ with draft Bill on animal sentience - Veterinary Practice
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Government ‘makes good on its promises’ with draft Bill on animal sentience

Responding to the campaign to enshrine Article 13 of the
Lisbon Treaty into UK law, the government has published
a draft Bill, which sets out that the government “must have
regard to the welfare needs of animals as sentient beings in
formulating and implementing government policy”.

The draft Bill goes further than Article 13 as it applies to
all areas of government policy, rather than specified areas.
If passed, the law would apply to the whole of the UK.

Responding to Michael Gove’s announcement, BVA
president John Fishwick said: “Vets have been clear in
our calls that the duty on the state to have due regard for
animal welfare – as captured in Article 13 of the EU Lisbon
Treaty – must be enshrined in UK law. This Bill captures
the substantive obligation that Article 13 currently puts on
the national government to consider animal welfare, as well
as explicitly recognising animals as sentient beings.

“Today’s draft Bill lays out in black and white the
government making good on its promises, to ensure the UK
remains a global leader in animal welfare post-Brexit.”

The new law will also increase the maximum prison
sentence for animal cruelty tenfold, from six months to five
years, in England and Wales. Subject to consultation on the
draft Bill, the government will legislate to deliver both aims.

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