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Sentience and Welfare of Animals — [Sir Roger Gale in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:02 pm on 16th March 2020.

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Photo of Neale Hanvey Neale Hanvey Independent, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath 5:02 pm, 16th March 2020

Anyone who has had a pet and loved them, with that relationship having built up over the years, knows that that creature is sentient. Does my hon. Friend share my frustration that sentience has been described as some unnecessary additional clause to be added to legislation and ascribed as an ornament on a Christmas tree? Does he agree that sentience is surely not an additional ornament, but a central and fundamental tenet of any legislation? The analogy of sentience being an ornament is so inaccurate because sentience is the tree—the central component of animal welfare. Does he also agree that, in line with the Scottish animal welfare commission, that should be a central part of policy making in Westminster?