The UK government has outdone itself when it comes to the lack of animal welfare in Britain.
MPs have voted to reject the inclusion of animal sentience into the EU Withdrawal Bill – a move one group says undermines Michael Gove’s high animal welfare pledge.
While debating the Brexit bill, the government voted against legislation which recognizes that animals have sentience, and can feel pain and emotions.
The Independent reports: This vote comes in contrast to extensive scientific evidence that shows that other animals do have feelings and emotions, some even stronger than ours.
But politicians clearly think that they know better about animal brains than the majority of scientists on the planet. This complete lack of logic leads me to believe that many of our MPs probably have less intelligence than a jellyfish. But unfortunately I don’t have any stake in Parliament to vote through my personal opinions, unlike those politicians.
Realistically though, who would be surprised by this new vote? Despite Michael Gove’s calls to improve animal welfare standards post-Brexit, we all know the Government, and in fact most of the UK public, doesn’t really care about animals unless they’re cute and fluffy.
“Animal welfare” in the Government’s (and indeed the public’s) eyes is riddled with double standards. At the moment, 80 per centof the UK’s animal welfare legislation comes from the EU – if we’re voting out the fact that animals are sentient, why would we even bother with the rest of it? If the Government doesn’t believe that animals can even feel pain, surely none of their rights will be protected at all.
When we leave the EU, pets will be protected by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. But where does this leave wild animals, those in labs, and those in other forms of captivity? Just a small example of this is cosmetics testing. Under EU law it is illegal to test on animals for cosmetics like body wash and nail varnish. But this could easily be scrapped just like the recognition of animals as sentient beings has been.
We are looking at a very grim future for animals, where labs are free to test on animals with as much cruelty as they wish (and no pain relief, because apparently animals don’t feel pain) and farms are less and less regulated.
Update: We have amended an earlier headline and opening sentence that previously and inaccurately suggested the UK government had declared that ‘animals do not have ability to feel pain’.
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