This target article has three parts. The first briefly reviews the thinking about nonhuman animals’ sentience in the Western canon: what we might know about their capacity for feeling, leading up to Bentham’s famous question “can they suffer?” The second part sketches the modern development of animal welfare science and the role that animal-sentience considerations have played therein. The third part describes the launching, by Compassion in World Farming, of efforts to incorporate animal sentience language into public policy and regulations concerning human treatment of animals.
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