Battersea: Animal sentience must be reflected in UK law

23 NOVEMBER 2017

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home welcomes the Government's clarification that they recognise animals as sentient beings following a vote in Parliament last week.

Battersea's Chief Executive, Claire Horton, said: "It is imperative we recognise animals as sentient beings, with the capacity for both suffering and joy and that their health and welfare needs should always be reflected when planning legislation. We expect this principle to be maintained and look forward to seeing how the Government intends to ensure this position is reflected in UK law.

"In September, they agreed to back Battersea's campaign for a five-year maximum sentence for animal cruelty. We now hope to see the Bill to make this commitment a legal reality as soon as possible.

"Another key threat to animal welfare is the increase in the number of puppies smuggled in from abroad. We must do more to tackle puppy smuggling, and tackle head on the risks such profit driven, reprehensible practices pose to both animal and human welfare."

To learn more about Battersea's campaign for tougher sentences for the most severe animal cruelty offences, visit