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Vet letter signed by 1,200 seeks clarity on animal welfare

29th Nov 2017 / By Alistair Driver

The fall out from the vote over animal sentience continued, after nearly 1,200 vets and veterinary nurses signed a letter calling for clarity on the issue.  

The letter calling for the principle of Article 13 to be explicitly enshrined in UK legislation post-Brexit, which has been led by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA), was published in the Daily Telegraph.

The BVA said the signatories added their names to a 'strong call on the UK government to ensure there is a duty on the state to have due regard for animal welfare in the development and implementation of policy, as Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty sets out'. 

Under the UK’s Animal Welfare Acts, accountability for the treatment of an animal focuses on the animal keeper, but not on the state, the BVA said.

BVA Senior Vice President Gudrun Ravetz said the public and professional response to the vote was 'astonishing', but added that there was 'much misunderstanding borne from sensationalist headlines that suggested the MPs who voted the amendment down do not believe in animal sentience'.

"The real crux of the debate got lost in this noise. BVA supports the principle of Article 13, since it not only recognises that animals are sentient, but importantly puts a duty on the state to have due regard for animal welfare in the development and implementation of policy," she said.

For more on this story, see Pig World

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