Thank you for contacting me about the progress of animal sentience laws. I have read your email carefully and have noted the key points that you made.
The Government is committed to making any necessary changes to UK law to ensure animal sentience is legally recognised after the transition period and appropriate legislation will be brought forward as necessary. I understand that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is currently assessing how best to support Government departments in considering the welfare needs of sentient animals when they are developing and implementing Government policy, as well as continuing to engage closely with other relevant organisations and authorities to enhance its policies on this issue further.
The Agriculture Bill as is stands will allow us to introduce ambitious new land management schemes in England where we can reward farmers and land managers who protect our environment, improve animal welfare and produce high quality food in a more sustainable way. Moreover, powers in the Agriculture Bill provide support for farmers to invest in equipment, technology and infrastructure to improve their productivity, as well as allowing for transparency in the supply chain to help British farmers to seek a fairer return from the marketplace.
Outside of the EU, the UK will remain party to bodies such as the World Organisation for Animal Health, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and others, and will continue to promote improved animal welfare standards internationally.
Encouraging action is being taken by our Government to improve animal welfare at home and abroad by increasing maximum sentences for animal cruelty, banning third party sales of puppies, and introducing one of the world’s toughest bans on ivory sales. I believe that these very welcome steps demonstrate exactly how seriously this Government takes animal welfare. Having left the EU, I am pleased that the UK now can, and will, do even more.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me about this important issue.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking