To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to provide for animal sentience in law; and if so, whether the definition of animals in that law (1) will be the same as that for vertebrates in the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and (2) will include decapods and cephalopods.
12 April 2021
This Government has a manifesto commitment to introduce new laws on animal sentience, which we will do as soon as parliamentary time allows.
The current science is clear that vertebrates can experience pain and suffering. It is on that basis that the definition of "animal" in the Animal Welfare Act 2006 is limited only to vertebrates. Defra has commissioned an independent external review of the available scientific evidence on sentience in decapods and cephalopods. This review is expected to report shortly.