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Sentience is still on the table, Defra insists

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By Josh Loeb

Animal welfare minister David Rutley last week insisted that the government was still ‘actively’ working to introduce legislation on animal sentience at the earliest possible opportunity.

However, his department was accused of ‘inaction’ by Labour MP Kerry McCarthy, who said she had tabled her own draft legislation in parliament in a bid to make progress.

Their exchange took place during a meeting of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EfraCom) at which ministers, including environment secretary Michael Gove, replied to MPs’ questions on Brexit.

Under a type of parliamentary procedure designed to let backbench MPs exert pressure on any particular issue, McCarthy this week released her own personal plan of legislative action …

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