There has been much written about the reporting and misreporting of the parliamentary vote on Caroline Lucas’ amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, but as far as I am concerned the raising of the profile of animal sentience is a very useful fallout and may in the long run prove beneficial for animal welfare - as long as all those who care about animals maintain political pressure on the topic. The risk is that if such pressure is not maintained, the key concept of animal sentience lost from UK animal welfare legislation will not be reinstated due to the sheer weight of parliamentary time taken up by Brexit. Animal sentience must not be 'kicked into the long grass' in the UK. This would be a deeply shameful outcome for a country which once led the improvement of animal welfare in Europe.
The turning of the year is a good time to review significant animal welfare events in 2015, and to look forward to the future. This blog considers events in foxhunting, trophy hunting and the Grand National steeplechase in 2015, and looks forward to 2016 by considering how an 'animal interests' approach could help improve animal welfare in the coming years.
What does the outcry over the killing of Cecil the Lion tell us about changing attitudes to the hunting of animals for sport and how the media and the global public respond to issues of animal ethics, conservation and animal welfare? This blog attempts to distinguish the anthropocentric, conservation and animal welfare arguments which arose from the killing of this famous lion.
Are the animal rights and animal welfare approaches really contradictory in our work in animal protection?