• I urge Devon County Council cabinet to back my motion on animal sentience, despite Gove u-turn

    8th January 2018 | News | Claire
  • I welcome Environment Secretary of State Michael Gove’s announcement last month, in which he gave assurances that animal sentience would be included in domestic law at a future unknown date.

    However, the main thrust of my motion is about a firm commitment by the government on timing.

    There have been a number of good news policy announcements from Mr Gove in recent weeks on animal welfare and environmental issues, however, these largely fall short of a commitment on timing and I don’t believe that any of them have yet resulted in a published Bill except banning microbeads in ‘rinse off’ cosmetics – something that the industry was already preparing for.

    Many people are also understandably sceptical about the government’s commitment to animal welfare after the Conservative 2017 general election manifesto included a pledge on holding a free vote on bringing back fox hunting.

    Additionally, it is important to note that banning wild animals in circuses, which has been a Conservative manifesto commitment for several years, has still not been enacted.

    I stand by every word in my motion on animal sentience and urge the cabinet to support it. It is a subject close to many people’s hearts – in Devon and across the country.

    My apologies once again for being unable to be present on Wednesday to put my case.

    Best wishes


    Pic:  Molly – my daughter’s very sweet and very energetic cockapoo!