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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, 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 campaign was launched earlier this year at a Parliamentary reception 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.

Our petition, launched by singer and TV presenter Alesha Dixon has reached over 100,000 signatures, triggering a debate in Parliament. 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.

But despite a firm commitment from Secretary of State Michael Gove that animal sentience will be in the Queen’s Speech this year, current political tumult means a Bill is by no means secure. So the campaign will continue unabated, with another Parliamentary event on 3 September for Parliamentarians to reaffirm their support for a better deal for animals.

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: 30 September 2019