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BVA expresses concern at animal sentience vote

20th Nov 2017 / By Alistair Driver

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has expressed concern after MPs rejected recognition of animal sentience into UK law post Brexit. 

MPs voted last week to reject the inclusion of a clause that would transfer the recognition of animal sentience into UK law after we leave the EU in an eight-hour parliamentary debate on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill. 

Green MP Caroline Lucas submitted an amendment clause, which sought to transfer the EU Protocol on animal sentience set out into UK law, so animals continue to be recognised as 'sentient beings'. But the clause was rejected with a slim majority of 18 for the Government. 

Responding to the decision, BVA senior vice president Gudrun Ravetz said: “It is extremely concerning that a marginal majority of MPs have voted-down this seminal clause. Enshrining animal sentience in UK law would have acknowledged that we consider animals as being capable of feelings such as pain and contentment and, so, deserving of consideration and respect. It is a founding principle of animal welfare science, and for the way that we should treat all animals."

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