A 1,200-signature letter calling for the principle of Article 13 to be explicitly enshrined in UK legislation post-Brexit, which has been led by BVA and the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA), has been published in the Daily Telegraph.
The 1,194 individual veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses and veterinary students added their names to a strong call on the UK government to ensure there is a duty on the state to have due regard for animal welfare in the development and implementation of policy, as Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty sets out.
Under the UK’s Animal Welfare Acts, accountability for the treatment of an animal focuses on the animal keeper, but not on the state.
BVA senior vice president Gudrun Ravetz (pictured) has been leading BVA’s lobbying on this issue while BVA president John Fishwick recovers from a back operation.
She said: “The public and professional response to the Article 13 vote was astonishing, but there was much misunderstanding borne from sensationalist headlines that suggested the MPs who voted the amendment down do not believe in animal sentience. The real crux of the debate got lost in this noise.
“BVA supports the principle of Article 13, since it not only recognises that animals are sentient, but importantly puts a duty on the state to have due regard for animal welfare in the development and implementation of policy.”