Evennett backs measures to recognise animals as sentient beings

© Parliamentary Recording Unit

Yesterday (18 January), the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill had its Second Reading in the House of Commons. The Bill will ensure that animals are recognised sentient beings that are capable of feeling pain and joy. It will also see the creation of a new Animal Sentience Committee made up of experts in the animal field appointed by the Secretary of State, who will be tasked with reporting on whether central Government policy decisions have considered the effect on animal welfare.

During the debate, Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, expressed his strong support for the measures contained within the Bill and congratulated the Government on implementing this manifesto commitment from the 2019 General Election. He also commented:

Many of my constituents across Bexleyheath and Crayford are pet owners and are passionate about animals and animal welfare. Pressure from public opinion has resulted in this measure coming forward and being in the 2019 Conservative party manifesto, and I welcome those things. Britain has a proud history of animal welfare, and has always been a global leader, and I very much hope that, being outside the EU, we can go much, much further… I am sure the Government will continue to improve the lives and welfare of animals. They launched the action plan for animal welfare to ensure that we go further, and I welcome that passionately.

I have read the enlightening debates on the Bill in the other place. I have great interest in the Bill’s many issues, and very much hope to participate further in Committee and as the Bill makes its passage through the House. Sir David’s full speech, as well as the entire debate, can be read at: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2022-01-18/debates/33984457-F036-4329-B701-FC4F71A26E62/AnimalWelfare(Sentience)Bill(Lords)