UK: Vertebrates have feelings, enshrined in law

Status: 09.05.2021 15:43

Vertebrates can feel, they experience joy, suffering and pain. Now you know. Britain, however, now wants to enshrine this into law. This should make the penalties for animal cruelty harsher.

Vertebrates have feelings: Britain wants to enshrine that into law. Environment Secretary George Eustice told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper that the sensitivity applies to vertebrates, “anyone that has a spinal cord.” The law will be announced by Queen Elizabeth II in her traditional government statement on Tuesday. She emphasizes that animals are aware of their feelings and emotions and can experience joy and pleasure as well as suffering and pain.

Cruelty to animals, hunting trophies, export of live animals

The British government wants the country to pioneer animal rights, and law is at the heart of the strategy. The penalties for animal cruelty will be increased from six months to a maximum of five years in prison. Other bills would prohibit the importation of hunting trophies, the exportation of live animals and the keeping of primates as pets.

The animal welfare strategy also includes the government’s goal of banning fur imports and the use of microchips on domestic cats. The slaughter of pigs by gassing with carbon dioxide must also end.

Johnson for Animal Welfare in Politics

Minister Eustice described the project as an “important signal to the world.” Many of these changes, such as a ban on live animal exports, were only made possible by Britain’s departure from the EU, he said.

Boris Johnson is the first prime minister to enshrine animal welfare in government policy, Eustice said. Critics say Johnson’s main cause for animal rights is the personal views of his fiancée, Carrie Symmonds. Symmonds, a former spokeswoman for Johnson’s Conservative Party, is just as “passionate” about the issue as Johnson or himself, Eustice said.

Regina Anderson

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