The Commons came within 18 votes of passing a Caroline Lucas amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which would have included protection of sentient creatures. Early next year I shall put this same amendment to the Lords. It is an existing EU principle and one of many principles underpinning EU law and regulation that have been rejected as amendments by the government.
It was a real disappointment that some MPs were swayed by the Minister when he said that animal sentience was part of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 when this simply isn’t true. The Act applies to domestic animals and doesn’t even mention sentience. Animals in the wild and in laboratories are expressly exempt, even though they often need the protection more than most.
We can’t rely on the Labour Party in the Lords to get behind every amendment so it will need cross-party support to get a positive vote for animal sentience. There are plenty of Lords, across all the benches, who care about animals and their welfare. These Lords need to hear from you. You can contact them via They work for you