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

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:49 pm on 16th March 2020.

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Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 5:49 pm, 16th March 2020

It is important to clarify this matter, as the hon. Lady has raised it specifically. The manifesto commitment is to bring forward the legislation as soon as possible. That is absolutely our position and that is what we will do. However, being realistic, we are in an emerging situation. We do not know what will happen over the next few months, and there are three very important DEFRA Bills going through both Houses of Parliament. I cannot, in those circumstances, absolutely swear to her that it will be this year. I tried to give reassurance in my speech that we already have animal welfare safeguards in our law, but the Government’s position remains the same: we will bring the legislation forward as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I do not know exactly when that will be.