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Commentary Type

Invited Commentary


Andrew N. Rowan, Joyce M. D'Silva, Ian J.H. Duncan, and Nicholas Palmer, Animal sentience: history, science, and politics


Rowan et al’s target article makes clear that meaningful change in policy and practice to protect animals has failed to progress in lockstep with scientific understanding of their sentience and needs. The underlying causes for inertia in political and practical progress for animals in the UK context are multi-faceted and complex, including economic forces; lack of cross-departmental accountability for animal welfare; and challenges where it suits conservation scientists to dismiss or downgrade the impacts of management decisions on individual animals. All of these influences and more must be understood and addressed if we are to deliver meaningful and timely protections for sentient animals.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Author Biography

Claire Bass holds a master’s degree in marine environmental protection from the University of Wales, and conceived and launched the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, She leads the strategic planning and delivery of all HSI/UK’s campaigns, and co-led the campaign supported by 50 animal charities that delivered the recent UK Sentience Act. Website