Chair: Claire Bass, Humane Society International
Vice Chair: Emily Wilson, Four Paws
Link: Matt Browne, Advocacy Lead
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 and was debated in Parliament in March 2020. This, along with our YouGov polling, demonstrates the strength of public feeling on this issue.
On 26 November 2020 the Group held an online roundtable, chaired by Lord John Randall, setting out principles to underpin effective animal sentience legislation.
We are delighted that the Government has now responded to the campaign, announcing an Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill in May 2021. Over the months ahead we will be working hard to ensure that the Bill becomes the gold-standard for animal welfare legislation.
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.
In July 2020 Link submitted evidence to Defra making the case for amendment of the Conservation of Seals Act 1970 to ban seal shooting in English waters. This ban was later included in the Fisheries Act 2020.
For further information, contact Matt Browne, Link's Advocacy Lead
Last updated: 12 May 2021
Also in the policy hub: