Conservative government sets out toughest animal welfare laws in Europe

The Environment Secretary will today set out plans to strengthen animal welfare laws and enshrine animal sentience in domestic UK law.

Key facts: Our new draft Bill will mean:

  • Recognising and enshrining animal sentience in domestic UK law;
  • Increasing the maximum prison sentence for animal cruelty tenfold, from six months to five years;
  • Courts retaining the ability to hand out unlimited fines and ban offenders from owning animals in future.

Why this matters: This announcement is part of a wider set of reforms which aim to cement the UK’s position as a global leader on animal welfare.

We recognise that animals are sentient beings who feel pain and suffering, so we are enshrining that principle into UK law and ensuring we do everything we can to protect their welfare.