The Agora => UK & World News => Topic started by: Maik on Monday, 20 November, 2017 @ 18:48:47

Title: "Animals can't feel pain": MPs
Post by: Maik on Monday, 20 November, 2017 @ 18:48:47
MPs vote 'that animals cannot feel pain or emotions' into the Brexit bill

MPs have voted to reject the inclusion of animal sentience – the admission that animals feel emotion and pain – into the EU Withdrawal Bill.

The move has been criticised by animal rights activists, who say the vote undermines environment secretary Michael Gove’s pledge to prioritise animal rights during Brexit.

The majority of animal welfare legislation comes from the EU. The UK Government is tasked with adopting EU laws directly after March 2019 but has dismissed animal sentience.

Title: Re: "Animals can't feel pain": MPs
Post by: Maik on Friday, 24 November, 2017 @ 11:35:44
Some claimed the vote showed that the Government didn’t care about animals. Supporters of the Government claimed that it was the result of “fake news”.

The Government appears concerned that the reports will damage their popularity. Campaigners are worried that the law now protects animals less than it should.

Put simply, what happened is this: MPs did not vote that animals are not sentient creatures. But neither did they vote for a law that would have recognised them as such.

Some of the Government’s attempts to dismiss the controversy have been overly extreme, apparently in an attempt to write-off the entire discussion. Despite claims about fake news, it’s not definitive why exactly MPs voted against the amendment, or that the Government will meaningfully recognise animals as sentient – instead, it relies on people believing the Government’s claims that it will guarantee protections.

At the same time, many of the reports did miss a very specific but very important detail of what happened. Nobody voted that animals aren’t sentient, because that wasn’t ever up for a vote. Instead, they didn’t vote that they were. A number of stories gave a misleading impression by eliding that distinction.

With all of that out of the way, what you feel about all of this ultimately comes down to the issues above: whether you think it’s important that animal sentience is specifically recognised in law, whether you think the 2006 act goes far enough, and whether you believe the Government that it is going to guarantee similar protections in its own time.