When you hear this it kinda makes all the work very worthwhile; never give up the fight.
What is the Animal Welfare Sentience Bill? ‘Landmark law’ reaches final stages
This means the bill is just one step away from becoming a law, and this will have a direct impact on how most decisions affect the welfare of animals.
Never heard of the bill until now? Let us explain…
What is the Animal Welfare Sentience Bill?
In short, the bill will make it a law to recognise that animals have feelings and their welfare should be considered and protected as a result.
The bill is described as aiming ‘to make provision for an Animal Sentience Committee with functions relating to the effect of government policy on the welfare of animals as sentient beings.’
The new law will see the formation of an Animal Sentience Committee which will have the freedom to scrutinise any government policy and check that it has taken animal welfare into account.
Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive of the RSPCA said: ‘The Sentience Bill becoming law is an important milestone in ensuring animals have strong legal protections and are recognised as sentient beings who have emotions and feelings.’
‘We are pleased that the new Animal Sentience Committee will be able to influence public policy to improve the lives of animals and create a kinder and more compassionate society.’
What is sentience?
Sentience is the capacity to experience feelings and sensations.
However, after the UK left the EU following Brexit, animal sentience was the only piece of EU legislation that was not transposed.
This means, that animals are considered to not have feelings, by law, at this time.
This is what inspired the bill to be passed.
Many charities and celebrity campaigners have been pushing for animal sentience to become UK law.
Singer and Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon, whose petition secured over 100,000 signatures for the campaign in 2019, said: ‘Animals enrich and improve our lives in so many ways, so it is only right that we give them our full respect in law.’
‘From the smallest mouse to the largest whale, our decisions can have a huge impact on the welfare of animals, and I’m thrilled that this new law will now mean all government departments will have to show how they’re giving animals the consideration and protection they deserve.’
What is the Royal Assent?
Once a bill has completed all the parliamentary stages in both Houses, it is ready to receive royal assent. This is when the Queen formally agrees to make the bill into a law, or an Act of Parliament.
Once the bill receives Royal Assent, the new law will be known as the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Act 2022.