Celebrities urge the Government to protect animal rights post-Brexit

Celebrities including Jilly Cooper, Joanna Lumley and Mel C of the Spice Girls have backed a campaign demanding the Government strengthens animal rights laws post-Brexit.

More than 20 well-known figures including Bill Oddie and Ben Fogle called for existing EU laws to be maintained and built upon in a letter to The Sunday Telegraph.

Under the Lisbon Treaty, animals are recognised as sentient beings that can feel and understand pain.

The Better Deal For Animals campaign, run by 36 prominent animal charities, wants the Government to keep this legislation within a new act, which also eliminates some practices currently allowed by the EU.

“The welfare of billions of animals is at risk if the Government does not put in place a new law to replicate current EU animal protections,” the group wrote.

“Losing these would mean that British governments would no longer be bound to ensure good standards of animal welfare when creating laws and policies.”

Michael Gove
Environment Secretary Michael Gove (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who is set to attend an event at Parliament hosted by the campaign group on Tuesday, insisted animal sentience would be recognised.

He said: “Animals are sentient beings who feel pain and suffering, so it is absolutely right that we recognise this in UK law after we leave the EU.

“Our plans to increase protections for animals include raising the maximum sentence for animal cruelty from six months to five years and banning third-party sales of puppies and kittens.

“I will continue to make sure we have the strongest legal protections in place for our animals.”

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