To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to page four of the Seventh Special Report of Session 2017-19 of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, published on 23 April 2018, on Pre-Legislative Scrutiny of the draft Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill 2017: Government Response to the Committee’s Second Report, HC 984, how and when he plans to take forward the measures contained in the draft Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill 2017.
The Government remains committed to introducing legislative requirements relating to animal sentience and to increasing the maximum penalties for animal cruelty. The Government will ensure that any necessary changes required to UK law are made in a rigorous and comprehensive way to ensure animal sentience is recognised after we leave the EU. The Government intends to bring forward legislation as soon as Parliamentary time permits. In the meantime, Defra is continuing to engage closely with stakeholders to further refine the Government's proposals on animal sentience.