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Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill – reaction from Stephen Morgan MP

Today the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill is due its second reading in the House of Commons, which I support. A high number of people have got in touch with me about the Bill hence why I am posting my views on my website.

I welcome its focus on recognising animals as sentient beings, replacing the protections lost through the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.

I also agree that the Government has been dragging its heels on protecting our animals for years. We’ve seen lots of press releases, yet little action from Ministers.

Many of the Animal Welfare measures in the last Queen’s Speech were lifted directly from Labour’s Animal Welfare Manifesto, but I believe the Government has failed to grasp the full detail.

We can have little confidence in this Government’s commitment to animal welfare: their manifesto promised not to compromise on Britain’s high standards in trade deals, but the Australian trade deal, and the precedent it sets, risks outsourcing animal cruelty in the supply chain to other countries.

The Government is also turning a blind eye to the abuse of loopholes in the Hunting Act leading to wild animal cruelty, while they continue to allow trail hunting on land owned by Government Departments.

I also believe that the definition of an animal should be expanded beyond its current stipulations to include crustaceans and cephalopods, as a number of constituents have raised with me.

However, I agree with the broad principle of the Bill and Labour will be raising amendments to it at the next stage of its passage through Parliament.

Stephen Morgan MP