Animals Will Be Formally Recognised As Sentient Beings Under UK Law


Animals Will Be Formally Recognised As Sentient Beings Under UK Law

The UK is set to update its legislation to declare that animals are sentient beings that are capable of feeling sensations and emotions.

In a massive win for animal campaigners, the ruling will apply to all animals, from household pets to species overseas.

UK environment secretary George Eustice said in a statement: "We are a nation of animal lovers and were the first country in the world to pass animal welfare laws.

"Our action plan for animal welfare will deliver on our manifesto commitment to ban the export of live animal exports for slaughter and fattening, prohibit keeping primates as pets, and bring in new laws to tackle puppy smuggling.


"As an independent nation, we are now able to go further than ever to build on our excellent track record."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Foie gras could be potentially banned under the new ruling due to the treatment ducks and geese endure to produce the food, and e-collars that shock train pets will be given the boot.

Import rules will be change to stop the puppy smuggling trade and there will be bans on the ivory and shark fin trade.


British authorities will have a renewed crackdown of illegal hare coursing and the sale and use of glue traps will be restricted, according to the Guardian.

Farmers will be given incentives to change the way they keep and store live animals, with the government opting out of introducing strict rules on cages and crates for poultry and pigs.

Compassion in World Farming senior policy manager James West has welcomed the measures.

"We have long been calling for UK legislation that recognises animals as sentient beings and for sentience to be given due regard when formulating and implementing policy," he said.


"We are also delighted the government has confirmed it will legislate for a long-overdue ban on live exports for slaughter and fattening. We have been campaigning for this for decades: it is high time this cruel and unnecessary trade is finally brought to an end."

Live exporting animals for slaughter will also be banned in the UK under the new ruling and people could soon no longer be able to import hunting trophies from endangered animals.

A statement from the UK government said: "Now that we have left the EU, the UK has new freedoms to further strengthen animal welfare standards and reinforce its position as a global champion of animal rights."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, News, Animals

Stewart Perrie
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