UK MPs Vote 'That Animals Cannot Feel Pain or Emotions'
MPs have voted to reject the inclusion of animal sentience – the admission that animals feel emotion and pain – into the EU Withdrawal Bill.
The move has been criticised by animal rights activists, who say the vote undermines environment secretary Michael Gove’s pledge to prioritise animal rights during Brexit.
The majority of animal welfare legislation comes from the EU. The UK Government is tasked with adopting EU laws directly after March 2019 but has dismissed animal sentience.
The Government said during the debate before the vote that this clause is covered by the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
The RSPCA disputed the Government’s claim.
"It’s shocking that MPs have given the thumbs down to incorporating animal sentience into post-Brexit UK law," RSPCA head of public affairs David Bowles told Farming UK.
He added that domestic animals were only covered in the Act, and the 2006 law does not cover sentience.