The EU (Withdrawal) Bill will convert the existing body of direct EU animal welfare laws to become UK laws. Most of these EU laws relate to farmed animals and many were passed after Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) came into effect.
Article 13 of the TFEU created a qualified obligation on the EU and EU Member States “to have full regard to the welfare of animals [as they are sentient beings]” when formulating and implementing certain EU laws.
We are exploring how the ‘animal sentience’ principle of Article 13 can continue to be reflected in the UK when we leave the EU. The UK has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and our ambition is not only to maintain but enhance these standards.