Statement on Clause 30 vote.
As you will no doubt know on 15th November MPs voted to reject an amendment to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.
This proposal by Caroline Lucas was to request that Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty, which refers to animal sentience, be transferred into UK law in anticipation of leaving the EU.
We made a decision not to call for action on hearing of the amendment’s rejection. While we believe that the sentience of animals should and must be recognised in law, we do not feel that the outcome of the vote in question was a legal denial that animals are conscious and can experience pain and suffering as has been suggested by some.
As we have been contacted by supporters rightly alarmed at developments we are making this clarification.
We were, and continue to be, further concerned that if the intention of the amendment was to transfer Article 13 wholesale then the caveats contained, which allow parties and industry to disregard animal sentience, would also be transferred.
This though is a great opportunity for politicians who have publicly condemned any implication that animals are not sentient to now commit to bringing forward legislation not only recognising the sentience of non-humans but also the rights of non-humans.
In addition we would appeal to them to ensure that this legislation does not allow any consideration other than the rights and welfare of animals when drafting relevant regulation.
We would recommend you contact your MPs and MSPs to request that they act urgently. If you would like suggestions for content please let us know.
Scotland for Animals