Animals are not objects
Much like us, animals are sentient beings and aware of their feelings and emotions. Their lives matter to them and they have the same capacity to feel joy and pleasure, as well as pain and suffering.
With the upcoming Brexit discussions, to enable the UK to withdraw from the EU, we want to make sure that the current animal welfare legislations still apply.
Animals are not ‘goods’ and full regard must be given to their welfare to ensure we can continue to change their lives for the better.
I am an animal, we are all animals, and therefore I care - Michael Gove, UK Government Minister, July 2017
Help us ensure that David Davis MP, Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the EU and Lesley Griffiths AM, Welsh Government, truly ‘care’ by ensuring the recognition of animals as sentient beings with feelings and emotions.
What does leaving the EU mean for animal welfare?
Under EU law animals are recognised as beings with feelings, but what will happen once the UK leaves the European Union? We must ensure that animals have the same protection and they are not viewed merely as commodities.
After March 2019, European law will no longer apply in the UK.
With 80 percent of current animal welfare legislation coming from the EU, we must ensure that Brexit is not a backwards step for animal welfare.
In the coming weeks politicians in England and Wales will be debating UK Government proposals to enable the UK to withdraw from the EU and ensure European law will no longer apply in the UK.
What we could lose
The recognition that animals are sentient beings, with feelings and emotions, sends a strong message to politicians in both England and Wales. Any laws impacting on animals needs to take into account their capacity to suffer.
Sadly millions of animals are still being kept in conditions that do not meet their needs. However, laws are changing and we are seeing significant improvements in how animals are treated.
Since the recognition of animals as sentient beings, the EU has:
- Banned the use of barren battery cages
- Ended animal testing for cosmetics
- Prohibited the import of seal products.
Supporting the foundations of our campaigns
As we continue to campaign to end cages and crates for farm animals, bring about an end to puppy farms and free the last wild animals from circuses, we do so on the foundation that animals are breathing and feeling beings - they are not commodities.
This most basic recognition of their welfare must remain if we are to continue making a difference to the lives of animals.