Leicester Mercury

Treat all animals with compassion as well


WHEN the UK’s transition from the EU ends on December 31, EU law that recognises animals as sentient beings will no longer apply in the UK.

Sentience is the ability to feel joy, fear, pleasure, pain for instance, as well as the ability to learn and be conscious of surroundin­gs.

Without a specific law in the UK that recognises animal sentience both wild and domestic animals could be exposed to cruel and degrading treatment.

This would be an animal welfare disaster and undo all the work achieved so far to ensure higher welfare standards.

Despite an announceme­nt in the Queen’s Speech in 2019 that legislatio­n would be introduced, the government has so far failed to take action – and time is running out.

More than 40 animal welfare charities have petitioned the government to act.

If there is no legal recognitio­n of animal sentience, animals will be vulnerable to the government creating new laws, policies or trade deals that do not take animal welfare needs into account – and, sadly, their record on animal welfare is lacking.

Having promised earlier in the year to phase out the badger cull there was not only a change of mind but also an increase on the previous year’s maximum target to be killed.

Hunting with dogs continues with impunity despite it being illegal; grey squirrels are being persecuted.

The rule of six was not applied to grouse shooters and a secrecy clause about animals in laboratori­es is still in place despite objections and new legislatio­n.

Animals deserve better than to be treated like commoditie­s, units of production or unfeeling automatons.

They have the right to be treated with compassion and their sentience must be recognised in law.

Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone

 ?? PA ?? SWAB MEET: A testing station run by the Army in Leicester in June
PA SWAB MEET: A testing station run by the Army in Leicester in June

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