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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
Link: Matt Browne, Advocacy Lead

Update from the Group:

The key focus of the Animal Welfare Strategy Group is our #BetterDealForAnimals campaign, pushing the Government to bring forward, as a matter of urgency, legislation that recognises animals as sentient beings and ensures their protection post Brexit. Led by Link, the campaign brings together 40 of the UK’s largest and most effective animal protection groups.

The campaigners have hosted two Parliamentary receptions which over 100 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 events, showing political consensus on the issue, and both Government and Shadow Cabinet Ministers addressed attendees.

Our petition, launched by singer and TV presenter Alesha Dixon, reached over 100,000 signatures earlier this year and is awaiting a debate in Parliament. This, along with our 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.

We continue to press the Government to deliver on their 2019 Manifesto commitment and bring forward animal sentience legislation. We are working with Government and its officials to ensure this Bill is brought forward as soon as possible, to avoid a legislative gap when the Brexit transition period ends and ensure that it truly gives animals the protection they deserve, covering cephalopods and crustaceans and creating an independent animal welfare commission to advise Ministers on discharging their duty to animals effectively.

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. In May 2020 the Group hosted a symposium with the UK Centre for Animal Law on Brexit and Animal Welfare.

For further information, contact Matt Browne, Link's Advocacy Lead

Last updated: 1 July 2020