Animal sentience

I agree that animals are sentient beings who can feel pain and suffering, and I believe that this must be recognised in law.

I would like to assure you that the Government is committed to making any necessary changes to UK law in a rigorous and comprehensive way to ensure that animal sentience is legally recognised after the EU transition period, and this legislation will be brought forward as soon as Parliamentary time allows. This legislation will ensure that the UK has an effective means of reflecting animal sentience in future policy decisions.

The Government is working to improve animal welfare at home and abroad, in order that that our laws and policies reflect animal sentience. At the same time, I am pleased that the Government is increasing maximum sentences for animal cruelty, banning third party sales of puppies, and introducing one of the toughest bans on ivory sales in the world.

As the EU transition period comes to an end, the UK will also be able to strengthen its animal welfare laws even further. The Government will shortly be consulting on restricting live animal journeys, and is also looking at proposals for banning the trade in pet primates, and controlling the trade in hunting trophies from endangered animals.