I have been contacted by a number of constituents regarding animal sentience and the call for a better deal for animals post-Brexit.
Like us, animals can experience suffering, pain and fear. Experts in the field of neuroscience are confident that mammals, birds and many other creatures possess consciousness. It is therefore our ethical obligation to protect their interests and to ensure that their rights are not threatened as a result of the UK leaving the EU.
Approximately 80% of our animal welfare rules are part of European law. EU laws cover issues such as farm animal transportation standards, animal slaughter standards, consumer information laws and a ban on animal cosmetic testing. This legislation must be fully transposed into UK law with adequate monitoring, oversight, implementation and enforcement.
I was happy to sign EDM 2070 which welcomes the assurances from the Government that animal welfare standards will be maintained or improved in the event of the UK leaving the European Union and that animal sentience will be recognised in UK law, as well as urging the Government to table the Animals Welfare (Sentience) Bill without further delay. I have also written to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to put forward the concerns raised by constituents and I will continue to do what I can to ensure that animal’s rights are not threatened as a result of Brexit.