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Gove - Government committed to highest standards of animal welfare

23rd Nov 2017 / By Alistair Driver

Defra Secretary Michael Gove has insisted the Government remains committed to the very highest standards of animal welfare, as the row over the recent Commons vote on animal sentience refuses to die down.

Following the Prime Minister's intervention on Wednesday, Mr Gove has issued a written statement in which he outlines the Government's intentions to make the UK a world leader in the care and protection of animals.

He wrote: "It has been suggested that the vote last week on New Clause 30 of the EU Withdrawal Bill somehow signalled a weakening in the protection of animals - that is wrong. Voting against the amendment was not a vote against the idea that animals are sentient and feel pain - that is a misconception.

"Ministers explained on the floor of the house that this Government’s policies on animal welfare are driven by our recognition that animals are indeed sentient beings and we are acting energetically to reduce the risk of harm to animals – whether on farms or in the wild. The vote against New Clause 30 was the rejection of a faulty amendment, which would not have achieved its stated aims of providing appropriate protection for animals."

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