Yesterday I joined a coalition of animal welfare organisations to call for a #BetterDealForAnimals post-Brexit. As a proud advocate of animal welfare issues in Parliament, I fully support the call for animal sentience to be enshrined in law. It seems self-evident that we should acknowledge animals are capable of feeling pleasure, pain and suffering.

If we are to leave the EU, we have to see this as a once in a generation opportunity to enhance and strengthen our animal welfare laws – watering down or even just maintaining them is, in many cases, simply not good enough. I have therefore written to the Secretary of State for DEFRA asking him to bring forward legislation at the earliest opportunity to recognise animal sentience in law, establish an independent Animal Welfare Advisory Council and require meaningful assessments on the animal welfare impacts of Government policy options.

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