Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, has joined 94 MPs in signing a letter that calls on the Secretary of Stage for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, to reconsider the decision to exclude animal sentience from the EU Withdrawal Bill. 

Animal sentience is protected under Article 13 of the Treaty of Lisbon and states that Member States ‘must pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals,’ however this has been left out of the current Bill being debated in Parliament. 

Daniel is a strong proponent of animal welfare and has repeatedly acted in accordance with supporting the maintenance of EU protections of animal rights in the event of Brexit; including supporting Claude 30, tabled by Caroline Lucas MP, to include animal sentience in the EU Withdrawal Bill, which was narrowly defeated 313 votes to 295. 

Daniel Zeichner said, “the concept that animals have feelings and reactions, which should be protected, is a basic 21st century principal. It is difficult to fathom the Government’s decision to leave out Article 13, and I do not buy that it is so the Uk has the ability to strengthen animal rights beyond those protected under EU law.

Only a few months ago, Michael Gove said in the chamber that he recognised that animals are sentient beings, but last week the Conservative Party voted down an amendment that would ensure that this is recognised under UK law if we do through with Brexit. The only thing that the Government is consistent on is policy flip-flopping.

I hope that Mr Gove will review this letter signed by 94 MPs and realise that the best way to send a strong signal that the UK wants to lead the way on animal rights is to include animal sentience in the EU Withdrawal Bill.”

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