Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill [HL] (HL Bill 4)
Make provision for an Animal Sentience Committee with functions relating to
the effect of government policy on the welfare of animals as sentient beings.
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
Animal Sentience Committee
1 Animal Sentience Committee
(1)The Secretary of State must establish and maintain a committee called the
Animal Sentience Committee.
(2)The members of the Committee are to be appointed by the Secretary of State.
(3)The appointment of a person to the Committee is to be on such terms as the
Secretary of State may determine when making the appointment.
2 Reports of the Committee
(1)When any government policy is being or has been formulated or implemented,
the Animal Sentience Committee may produce a report containing its views on
the question in subsection (2).
(2)The question is whether, or to what extent, the government is having, or has
had, all due regard to the ways in which the policy might have an adverse
effect on the welfare of animals as sentient beings.
(3)The report may also contain recommendations as to the steps the Committee
considers the government should take for the purpose in subsection (4).
(4)The purpose is that of ensuring that, in any further formulation or
implementation of the policy, the government has all due regard to the ways
in which the policy might have an adverse effect on the welfare of animals as
Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill [HL]Page 2
(5)A report under this section must be published in such manner as the
Committee thinks appropriate.
(6)References in this section to government policy are to policy of the government
of the United Kingdom, but do not include any policy if, or to the extent that,
the policy relates to legislative provision falling within devolved competence.
(7)For the purposes of subsection (6) legislative provision falls within devolved
competence if and to the extent that—
(a)the provision would be within the legislative competence of the
Scottish Parliament if contained in an Act of that Parliament,
(b)the provision would be within the legislative competence of Senedd
Cymru if contained in Act of the Senedd (including any provision that
could only be made with the consent of a Minister of the Crown), and
(c)the provision would be within the legislative competence of the
Northern Ireland Assembly if contained in an Act of that Assembly
made without the Secretary of State’s consent.
3 Response to reports
(1)Where the Animal Sentience Committee publishes a report under section 2, the
Secretary of State must lay a response to the report before Parliament within
the period specified in subsection (2).
(2)The period is three months beginning with the day on which the Committee’s
report is published.
Supplementary and general
(1)In Schedule 1 to the Public Records Act 1958 (definition of public records), in
Part 1 of the table, in the second column, after the entry relating to Agricultural
Wages Committees insert—
“The Animal Sentience Committee.”
(2)In Part 6 of Schedule 1 to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (public
authorities to which that Act applies) at the appropriate place insert—
“The Animal Sentience Committee.”
(1)In this Act “animal” means any vertebrate other than homo sapiens.
(2)The Secretary of State may by regulations amend this section so as to bring
invertebrates of any description within the meaning of “animal” for the
purposes of this Act.
(3)Regulations under this section must be made by statutory instrument.
(4)Regulations under this section may not be made unless a draft of the
instrument containing them has been laid before, and approved by resolution
of, each House of Parliament.
(5)In this section “vertebrate” and “invertebrate” have the meanings given by
section 1(5) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill [HL]Page 3
6 Extent, commencement and short title
(1)This Act extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
(2)This Act, apart from this section, comes into force on such day or days as the
Secretary of State may by regulations made by statutory instrument appoint.
(3)This section comes into force on the day on which this Act is passed.
(4)This Act may be cited as the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Act 2021.