BVA has been campaigning for animal sentience to be enshrined in UK law

before Brexit, and coordinated an open letter on the subject from over 1,200vets, vet nurses and students last year

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has welcomed the Labour Party’srenewed drive for animal sentience to be embedded in legislation.

As part of its 50-point Animal Welfare Manifesto for Government, Labour isurging the government to embed the principle in law as quickly as possible, toimpose a duty on the state to have due regard for animal welfare in developingand implementing all future policy.

It also calls on the government to expand its definition of sentience to covercephalopod and decapod crustaceans, to ensure that species such as lobstersand squid will also be protected in the new legislation.

The manifesto sets out several other action points closely aligned with BVA’smanifesto, including a call for a ban on the keeping and trading of primatesas pets, and a recommendation for closer working with dog welfareorganisations to tackle the issue of puppy smuggling.

The association has been campaigning for animal sentience to be enshrined inUK law before Brexit, and coordinated an open letter on the subject from over1,200 vets, vet nurses and students last year.

Simon Doherty, BVA President, said: “It’s good to see sentience near the topof Labour’s very wide-ranging list of animal welfare priorities forgovernment, and we hope that they will note the renewed impetus behindenshrining this fundamental principle of how society should treat all speciesinto law as quickly as possible.

“There is considerable and long-standing professional and public feelingbehind the campaign to enshrine sentience, which makes it all the moredisappointing that it still hasn’t been given the go-ahead despite governmentassurances that they are committed to the legislation and underpinningprinciples.”

Doherty added: “Parliamentary time may be tighter than ever before, but thereis a golden opportunity here to make the UK’s status as a global leader onanimal welfare resoundingly clear.”

Source: Pet Gazette UK

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