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Animal Welfare

The Animal Welfare Strategy Group seeks to raise the UK Government’s commitment to animal welfare by identifying opportunities to provide support and evidence-based, pragmatic animal welfare advice to Link’s current working groups. In doing so, the Group’s work aims to improve collaboration and understanding between conservation and animal welfare focused organisations and will support Link’s other working groups in addressing animal welfare issues.

Chair: Claire Bass, Humane Society International
Vice Chair: Mark Jones, Born Free Foundation
Policy and Campaigns Manager: Zoe Davies, Link

Update from the Group:

The key focus of the group is the #BetterDealForAnimals campaign, pushing the Government to bring forward legislation as a matter of urgency that recognises animals as sentient beings and ensures their protection post Brexit. Led by Link, the campaign brings together 39 of the UK’s largest and most effective animal protection groups.

The campaign was launched at a Parliamentary reception on 26 February at which over 50 MPs and Peers, from all political parties, declared their support for a Better Deal for Animals. A truly cross-party roster of MPs sponsored the event, comprising Nic Dakin MP (Lab), Zac Goldsmith (Con), Deidre Brock (SNP) and Alistair Carmichael (Lib Dem). Secretary of State Michael Gove and Shadow Secretary of State Sue Hayman both addressed attendees. Michael Gove reiterated the Government’s commitment to primary legislation on animal sentience but, disappointingly, gave no indication of a timetable for delivery.

However, when Kerry McCarthy MP put our question to Defra Minister, David Rutley MP, during a recent EFRA evidence session, he was still unable to give further clarity on when or how this legislation will be introduced – a grave concern considering the looming Brexit deadline.

Our petition, launched by singer and TV presenter Alesha Dixon after the event, has already attracted over 60,000 signatures. This, along with our recent YouGov polling, demonstrates the strength of public feeling on this issue. Furthermore, twenty-three high profile celebrities wrote to the Prime Minister, backing the campaign and urging her not to let animals become victims of Brexit.

The campaign will continue apace until primary legislation is brought forward that secures a better deal for animals, once and for all.

The Group also continues to provide a forum and resource for Link members where animal welfare is concerned, and invites all Groups and members to contact us for further information or advice.

For further information, contact Zoe Davies, Link’s Policy and Campaigns Manager.

Last updated: 29 March 2019