Our local MP, Caroline Lucas was the person who first proposed an Animal Welfare proposal as part of our departure from the EU. Her proposal was prevented by the Conservative Government at that time. The photo at the top shows her speaking about that proposal when the Eastbourne Liberal Democratic MP, Stephen Lloyd was sat next to her. This current Bill was set out from the House of Lords in May last year and at the time one of the Sussex MPs who spoke about it was Tim Loughton who stated in May last year
I welcome the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill. The ban on animal trophies and provisions on pet theft, kept animals, cat micro-chipping and fur imports show that we do not need the European Union to promote some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world, as we do and will continue to do in this country.
The Bill has had its first, second and third reading in the House of Lords and on Tuesday it reached the second reading in the House of Commons. Here is the call from Caroline for it to go further which is endorsed by a member of the Labour Party.
As the MP who I think made the first attempt to put sentience recognition into UK law with my amendment to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, I warmly welcome this Bill. I congratulate the A Better Deal for Animals coalition for the work it has put into it. The Secretary of State mentions the scrutiny in the other place. Does he have sympathy with the concern raised there about how the Bill’s current wording would mean that the Animal Sentience Committee can look only at the adverse effects on the welfare of animals as sentient beings? Would he consider looking at the positive opportunities in considering those sentience issues, too?
It was very sad for the response to Caroline from George Eustice who is the EFRA Minister and who began in his response to her call by stating
I think this matter was dealt with extensively by my noble Friend, Lord Benyon. The key thing is that an adverse effect can mean a failure to make a change or consider a change that would have a positive impact on the welfare of animals, so I do not share any concerns about that expression.
Let us hope that now the Bill is at the Committee Stage in the House of Commons that the call from Caroline will be responded to a bit more helpfully by the Committee.