The campaign is being run by a coalition of 36 animal welfare charities, including the RSPCA, World Animal Protection, Cruelty Free International and PETA. A number of high profile celebrities have also pledged their names to the cause, amongst them Joanna Lumley, Simon Pegg, Bill Oddie and long-time Mayhew friends Rula Lenska and Peter Egan.
Animal sentience is currently safeguarded in Article 13 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union, but after Brexit, Article 13 will no longer apply to policy making or sentencing decisions in the UK.
Brexit therefore presents an important opportunity for the UK Government to live up to its reputation of being a world leader in animal welfare. Mayhew believes it is vital that once we have left the EU, the UK’s existing animal protection laws are maintained and strengthened, and any new laws are established with full consideration paid to animal sentience and welfare.
Our CEO Caroline Yates attended a major parliamentary event earlier today to hear cross-party politicians address the #BetterDealForAnimals campaign, and shed some light on how the UK is planning to provide protection for animals after Brexit.
Rt. Hon. Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Sue Hayman, Shadow Secretary of State, led discussions with representatives from the 36 animal welfare charities behind the campaign, as well as sponsors from the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and SNP parties.
The outcome of the event was a positive step forward, and the cross party group look set to listen to the recommendations of the 36 animal welfare organisations involved in the campaign. Rt. Hon. Michael Gove has also promised to keep them in mind when drafting a brand new Animal Welfare Bill, which is expected to be presented to parliament in the autumn.
“We claim to be a nation of animal lovers, and Mayhew are pleased that the Government looks set to listen to the recommendations of a collaborative group of animal welfare organisations. Given present uncertainties it is vital that animal welfare legislation is kept at the forefront of any change in circumstances, which can give us the opportunity to improve legislation and make it even more robust for the health and welfare of animals. We all look forward to seeing a new Animal Welfare Bill later this year.”
Despite many uncertainties around Brexit, Mayhew and the other 35 organisations united by the desire for a #BetterDealForAnimals will continue to campaign for the recognition of animal sentience, and want to see stronger animal welfare provisions in law.
Our collaborative group will be following all animal welfare updates from parliament, and we urge you to get involved by contacting your local MP and asking them to speak up for the campaign.
You can also share your support on social media using the hashtag #BetterDealForAnimals, and find out more here: www.wcl.org.uk/better-deal-for-animals
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