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Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill

Inquiry

“Animal sentience” is the capability of an animal to perceive or feel things. Animal sentience is enshrined in European law but this was not retained in domestic law before the Transition Period ended on 1 January 2021, following the UK’s departure from the European Union.

On 13 May, the Government’s Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill received its First Reading in the House of Lords. If passed, the Bill will apply to vertebrate animals (except humans) and establish an Animal Sentience Committee (ASC).

This inquiry will consider the proposed ASC, and ask whether it will ensure that animal sentience is properly taken into account in both new and existing Government policy in England. The inquiry will also examine whether there are sufficient safeguards to ensure that the proposed ASC will be independent, and have the necessary expertise and powers to be effective. The inquiry will look at whether the requirement for the Government to respond to a report of the ASC will be sufficient, and how the proposed ASC compares to similar bodies elsewhere. The inquiry will also ask if the Government is correct to limit the scope of the Bill to vertebrate animals.

Reports, special reports and government responses

No reports or special reports published.

Oral evidence transcripts

View all oral evidence transcripts
19 July 2021
Inquiry Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill
Witnesses University of Winchester, Compassion in World Farming, and University of Aberdeen
Committees Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
Oral Evidence
19 July 2021
Inquiry Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill
Witnesses Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Countryside Alliance, and London School of Economics (LSE)
Committees Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
Oral Evidence
AWB0024 - Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill
Witnesses Dr Charlotte Burn (Associate Professor of Animal Welfare and Behaviour Science at Royal Veterinary College), Prof Christine Nicol (Professor of Animal Welfare at Royal Veterinary College), Dr Maria Díez-León (Lecturer in Animal Welfare at Royal Veterinary College), and Dr Siobhan Abeyesinghe (Senior Lecturer in Animal Behaviour & Welfare Science at Royal Veterinary College)
Committees Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
Written Evidence
AWB0001 - Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill
Witnesses Macdonald
Committees Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
Written Evidence
AWB0043 - Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill
Witnesses Mike Radford, and Molly O’Donoghue
Committees Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
Written Evidence

Other publications

No other publications published.

Contact us

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  • Email: efracom@parliament.uk
  • Phone: (General Enquiries) 020 7219 1119 / (Media Enquiries) 020 7219 3279
  • Address: Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA