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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:

Leading on from its Manifesto for Animals published earlier this year, the Link Animal Welfare Strategy Group continues to advocate its proposals for the effective governance of animal welfare post Brexit.

Following meetings with Animal Welfare Minister Lord Gardiner and the Animal Sentience Bill team at Defra, Link members and partners at A-Law (UK Centre for Animal Law) wrote to Secretary of State Michael Gove in October setting out our concerns about Government’s proposal for enshrining Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty into domestic law. Specifically, the Group’s concerns are: a weakening of the duty to regard animal welfare in policy-making; a deficit in expertise and supporting government to conduct meaningful, prospective animal welfare impact assessments prior to policy decisions; and the risk of a legislative gap on animal sentience and welfare post 29 March 2019.

Our colleagues at ALAW will shortly be writing to the Sentience Bill team with a more detailed legal appraisal of Defra’s proposals to date, and putting forward suggestions on behalf of the Link and ALAW alliance for how our concerns can be addressed. With time running out for Government to take action, we sincerely hope that Defra will heed our warnings and accept our offer of assistance in drafting a Bill that truly affords animals the same level of protection they have under the EU.

In collaboration with Link’s Invasive Non-Native Species and Agriculture Working Groups, the Group also submitted responses to the Government’s consultations on free trade agreements with Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

The Group 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: 6 November 2018