A saddening vote is set to take place that will reject the inclusion of animal sentience in the European Union Withdrawal Bill that says animals won't be recognized as being able to feel pain or emotions.
Every person who has ever had a dog knows they are fully capable of feeling emotion, when they are happy they wag their tale and bark or if they are sad they will often whine. While we are unable to yet measure the exact degree to which different species can feel pain and experience emotion, there is more than enough evidence pointing to the fact they can.
One of the best examples of animals expressing emotion is Koko the gorilla who became famous for learning sign language. Koko clearly expresses love in her the tender way she interacts with Jane Goodall, even kissing or hugging her friend as she signs "I love
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The vote to reject animal sentience has been largely under reported by the mainstream media and flies in the face of everything the last hundred years has taught us about animals. Under the EU law, animals are considered capable of feeling pain and emotion, but the vote this week will drop the inclusion of animal sentience from the European Union Withdrawal Bill which will go into effect as the UK leaves the EU.
A prominent wildlife photographer named Richard Bowler has brought attention to the vote through a post on Facebook wich has been widely shared. Bowler says, "MMP’s have voted and in their wisdom, animals can no longer feel pain or emotions. It really beggars belief that in this day and age, this shower of a government no longer recognizes animals as sentient beings. None of them could have had a pet dog, greet them when they come home. But it’s not just domestic animals that show love and affection."
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Bowler pleads the case for animals in his Facebook post saying the only reason to deny animal sentient status is to exploit them. The vote to deny animals sentient status directly contradicts decades of research of various species, one of the most expressive of them being dolphins.
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When confronted in a debate, the government defended the vote by saying that animal sentience is covered by the Animal Welfare Act of 2006. The RSPCA was quick to point out that simply isn't true since neither the term sentience or sentient appears once in the Act and doesn't even cover all animals.
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