WellBeing News


When the UK (United Kingdom) voted to leave the European Union (EU), one of the

consequences would be the loss of legislation on various issues covered in

existing EU laws. The UK government had to pass new laws covering the many

items in EU legislation that would no longer apply to the UK, including the

statement in the EU governing treaty that animals were sentient. The

Conservative Government had promised to address the complicated range of

legislative gaps, including the declaration that animals are sentient beings, that

would be precipitated by the UK’s departure from the EU via new omnibus

legislation. As expected, the very complicated omnibus EU-departure legislation

did not address all the “gap” issues. In particular, the issue of animal sentience

was omitted. This omission prompted public dismay that animals would no

longer have the protection of the EU declaration that they were sentient beings

and led to a campaign calling on the Government to correct the omission. The

Government promised to do so and eventually developed an Animal Welfare

(Sentience) Bill to take the place of the EU language. On April 28, 2022, the United

Kingdom (UK) Government bill stating that animals are sentient received Royal

Assent from Queen Elizabeth, meaning that the bill is now an Act, the law of the

land. What does this new law mean in practice?