12 December 2017
Caroline Lucas has responded as the government announce a new law to ensure animal abusers are jailed for up to 5 years and animal sentience is reflected in domestic law.
The draft bill sets out that the government “must have regard to the welfare needs of animals as sentient beings in formulating and implementing government policy”.
The announcement comes after Government ministers first insisted that animal sentience was covered in UK law, before admitting that such claims weren't correct.
Caroline Lucas, the Green MP who originally tabled the animal sentience amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill, said:
"I'm really proud that my work with campaigners on the issue of animal sentience has been so successful. After insisting that sentience was covered by UK law already, the Government performed a screeching u-turn and has now put forward a sensible piece of legislation that will ensure that future legislation enshrines the principle of animal sentience.
"There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that this legislation wouldn't have emerged now without the pressure of thousands of people who have taken action after the Government voted against my amendment. One only needs to remember the horrific badger cull to be reminded that the Government is far from perfect on animal protection, but i'm more than happy to give them credit for finally coming good on the issue of sentience."