Animal Sentience

I know there has been some concern regarding the vote on animal sentience.

To be very clear, MPs didn’t vote that animals aren’t sentient. Self evidently animals are sentient and the UK has higher animal welfare standards than any other country in Europe. EU law is definitely not the panacea and it would be depressing if it were considered the benchmark. We can do better than that.

Quite simply the current Animal Welfare Act, which is embedded in British law, is rated as grade A in terms of animal sentience by the Animal Protection Index (maintained by World Animal Protection). Other Lisbon Treaty signatories (France, Italy, Spain etc) have each received a grade C, much lower than ours. That means that the existing UK legislation provides much better protection for animals in this country. I wasn’t going to vote for anything that would weaken that.

The EU legislation that some have been advocating hasn't stopped; Spanish bull fighting, pig pens in Denmark, Dutch veal farms, French fois gras, beak trimming, baby quail hunting, the Pero Palo festival (torturing of donkeys) and Maltese migrating bird shoots. Our domestic laws here in the UK offer greater animal welfare protection.