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?
Rowan, Andrew N.
"UK Passes its own Animal Sentience Act after Leaving the EU,"
WellBeing News: Vol. 4:
4, Article 1.
Available at: https://www.wellbeingintlstudiesrepository.org/wbn/vol4/iss4/1