The UK parliament have passed a bill in which they have decided that animals are not sentient, and therefore have no feelings or emotions.
The law will differentiate from current EU law that states animals do have emotions and are capable of feeling emotions.
The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness states:
“…non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors.
Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.”
The RSPCA Head of Public Affairs David Bowles has said the move is a “truly backward step” for animal welfare:
“It’s shocking that MPs have given the thumbs down to incorporating animal sentience into post-Brexit UK law,”
Anyone who has a pet will tell you that animals certainly do have feelings. They get grumpy if you wait too long to feed them, they are scared of loud noises and they show you affection when they are feeling full of love.
Mr Bowles also said:
“Animal sentience is never mentioned in the Animal Welfare Act and, crucially, only domestic animals are really covered by the provisions of the Act anyway and animals in the wild and laboratories are expressly exempt. It is simply wrong for the Government to claim that the Act protects animal sentience.
In the EU, we know that the recognition of animals as sentient beings has been effective in improving animal welfare across the region.
If the UK is to achieve the Environment Secretary’s objective of achieving the highest possible animal welfare post-Brexit, it must do the same.”

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