Animals will suffer #duetoBrexit!!


I’d read Guido’s tale of the Independent and various other media outlets spinning a gigantic lie about the government not thinking that animals are ‘sentient’ and can feel pain and suffering gaining a willing and gullible audience, including a large number of lobby groups and organisations, who hyped the story as much as possible.  So it was with interest I listened to the Today programme…first their ‘what the papers say,’ and you’d be hard pressed to know what the story was about, they mentioned ‘fake news’ but what was it about?  They then gave the impression that the Independent was the victim almost of whatever was going on…this approach was set in stone at 08:10 as Webb interviewed Gove [who I have to say not totally impressed with…too eager to please and not got the killer facts to slamdunk what is a very stupid story].  Webb told us this was a story whipped up by ‘social media’ which the MSM got dragged into…not true as far as I can see…the Independent were pretty forthright in their story….as was George Osborne’s Evening Standard [which has deleted one, in fact several seem to have gone awol, of their guilty tweets about this…if they deleted everything they misled readers on about Brexit that would leave a few cartoons and the sports pages].  Webb worked hard to twist the story so that the Independent was almost right and the Government wrong…Webb, rather than seeking truth, sought to prove the Independent story was right.  Trouble is it wasn’t.  Far from it and very easy to demonstrate….literally 10 minutes on Google gets you a very full picture…certainly one more informative and insightful than the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme brings us.  Then again the BBC’s own report is far from innocent on this…and it’s own follow up still tries to suggest the government is somehow guilty of not caring about animal suffering.

For a start the Independent had already retracted the story last night…though remarkably it finds little fault with its own reporting.

Here is their initial headline….pretty clear what their sensationalist message is and what it is attempting to do….

The Tories have voted that animals can’t feel pain as part of the EU bill, marking the beginning of our anti-science Brexit

The Tories have already decided to scale back huge parts of what makes Britain the country we’re proud of – today it’s animal sentience, and tomorrow it could be something far worse

Oh but hang on….rapid retraction….of a sort…

Animal sentience: What is really going on with the controversial Brexit amendment?

Animal rights campaigners, politicians and journalists are involved in an argument about whether the Government believes animals are sentient. But what’s the truth?

Some claimed the vote showed that the Government didn’t care about animals. Supporters of the Government claimed that it was the result of “fake news”. 

The Government appears concerned that the reports will damage their popularity. Campaigners are worried that the law now protects animals less than it should.

MPs did not vote that animals are not sentient creatures. But neither did they vote for a law that would have recognised them as such.

‘Some claimed’!!!!  And get the last sentence…..suggesting there is no law that protects animals as ‘sentient’ beings.

Trouble is…there is.  And, if the BBC had done its work it could have read the House of Commons Library briefing paper on this subject published yesterday…so Webb could have had a copy.  He obviously didn’t or ignored it.

First it tells us how the EU defines ‘sentient’….

‘An EU Commission publication on the Animal Welfare Strategy 2012–2015 states that sentience means that animals are “capable of feeling pleasure and pain ”.’

The HoCL tells us that the Animal Welfare Act 2006

…makes it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to any animal. ‘Animal’ is defined in Section 1 to include all (non-human) vertebrates and may be extended by regulation to include invertebrates on the basis of scientific evidence that “animals of the kind concerned are capable of experiencing pain or suffering”. While the legislation does not specifically mention the word ‘sentient’, the Explanatory Notes for Section 1 mention that the Act applies to vertebrate animals as they are “currently the only demonstrably sentient animals”. 

Animals can feel pain, ipso facto they are ‘sentient’ and recognised as such under British law even without expressly using the term except in the expalantory notes.

And the ‘appropriate national authority‘ can extend the definition to include invertebrates if it is felt necessary.

There are many pieces of animal welfare legislation that protects animals and the vote did not lessen that protection at all…and indeed was intended to enable the government to strengthen the protection going beyond that offered already, legislation at present blocked by the EU.

It has been suggested that the vote last week on New Clause 30 of the EU Withdrawal Bill somehow signalled a weakening in the protection of animals – that is wrong. Voting against the amendment was not a vote against the idea that animals are sentient and feel pain – that is a misconception. Ministers explained on the floor of the house that this Government’s policies on animal welfare are driven by our recognition that animals are indeed sentient beings and we are acting energetically to reduce the risk of harm to animals – whether on farms or in the wild. The vote against New Clause 30 was the rejection of a faulty

EU rules prevent us from restricting or banning the live export of animals for slaughter. EU rules also restrict us from cracking down on puppy smuggling or banning the import of puppies under 6 months. Article 13 has not stopped any of these practices – but leaving the EU gives us the chance to do much better. We hope to say more in these areas next year.

All very emotive from the campaigners and exploited by the cnical anti-Brexit  mob like Osborne.  Ben Fogle is very BBC-like isn’t he?  Classic BBC.  Except for one thing…he admits it when he is wrong….

British law quite clearly recognises that animals can feel pain and suffering and thus are ‘sentient’.  What’s so difficult about that that the BBC can’t admit it without all sorts of qualifictions and whatifferies?

Will Justin Webb be doing a mea culpa on tomorrow’s show?

At least Laura Kuenssberg has put some effort in…

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19 Responses to Animals will suffer #duetoBrexit!!

  1. Pounce says:

    And how do you think the bBC reports on that example of fake news spread via social media:


  2. G.W.F. says:

    The damage has been done 2 million people signed petitions. The story of how the Tories voted that animals are not sentient will be resurrected frequently, just like the resurrection by the BBC of stories about the murder of unarmed blacks by US cops.


  3. John Ogilvie says:

    This is not the first time The Independent has been taken in by fake news. On 15th May 320217 it reported:
    Pastor eaten by crocodiles after trying to ‘walk on water like Jesus’
    Only it turned out to be untrue.


    • Doublethinker says:

      I suspect that the Indy is not ‘taken in’ by false news at all but rather helps to knowingly promote a narrative that it knows to be false. I’m afraid that in common with the BBC and the Guardian left wing media outlets edit the news not on facts but on the impact that a story will have on their world view. If the story is on balance pro left its gets published and boosted with a few extras added if needed to spice it up. If it’s not a good leftist story it gets suppressed or distorted. This selective editing, some may choose to call it lying, is rife.


  4. Fedup2 says:

    Just another of the predictable propaganda pieces aimed at undermining Brexit – whenever I see these I think – ken Clarke , Clegg and other traitors doing the EU negotiating teams’ job for them.

    Give it a while and we ll be predicting the next story . I notice the al Beeb don’t critique the Dutch creep and Barnier Rover their claim about Europe being united when the krauts and Irish are both on the brink of unforeseen elections .

    Tonight – Friday night – will probably be the most expensive night for Blighty for a long time as May gives away 20 or 30 thousand million pounds as a bribe to those bitter corrupt dogs in Brussels so that the krauts can keep importing bent vw s Audi’s and beemers.


  5. Deborahanother says:

    What I’m hoping is that animal welfare will improve.once we have left .Currently live animals are shipped across Europe for slaughter and practices on the continent are not good .That stops at Dover.Membership of EU has not resulted in banning of cruel practices .The majority of countries wont vote for it.In fact the issue of shipping food around Europe for processing can be stopped. Who knows what is in our food.?
    You can import puppies with docked tails and ears from the continent yet its illegal in UK So being part of the remainers beloved EU has not made things any better for animals. Over to you BBC and animal rights campaigners……


    • Doublethinker says:

      Closer to home we have the abomination of Halal slaughter. Why are we not seeing an organised boycott of any store which sells this product? Why should we have to tolerate this method of slaughter in our country?


      • Lucy Pevensey says:

        On the Halal topic, I posted this on the Friday thread yesterday.

        Food Standards Agency: Information released under the Freedom of
        Information Act
        Date released: 26 July 2017

        Click to access fsaresponserestunnonstunslaughter.pdf.pdf


        • boohanna says:

          Hi Lucy,

          Thank you FSA document. I read through it carefully. In essence it says absolutely nothing. I note the exemptions they imposed on supplying the information and the relevant sections (38). As I was curious I went to the relevant section under the FOIA they utilised to not reveal the information ( ). This says:

          “Section 38 is an acknowledgment that some documents which could not be exempted under other provisions should nevertheless not be disclosed as there are policy reasons to keep them secret. Section 38 is intended to have the effect of preserving the operation of specific secrecy provisions in other legislation.”

          “Policy reasons”?……. Now I really am interested.

          Going back to the original FOIA request Lucy I note the passage

          “With regard to labelling, the Government is aware that there is public concern about
          meat from animals slaughtered in accordance with religious beliefs being sold to
          consumers who do not require their meat to be prepared in this way.”

          “Do not REQUIRE”?……No, “morally and deeply object”. They even sanitise the outrage as well as the requested information.

          I’ll finish on this whimsical note……..


          • Lucy Pevensey says:

            Boohanna, “Do not REQUIRE”?……No, “morally and deeply object”. They even sanitise the outrage as well as the requested information.
            I agree, it’s actually against the religions of some non-Muslims. For some devout Sikhs, Halal is forbidden. For some Christians it’s considered wrong. So having the meat not labelled is infringing on the religious practices of others. It’s offensive and it was sneaky introducing it without labelling. Why should Muslim wants come before the rights of others to observe their respective religions?

            “The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is not responsible for determining whether meat
            is halal. Once approved for slaughter, every slaughterhouse has the capability to
            carry out religious slaughter with or without prior stunning provided that the
            requirements in the Regulations are followed.”


            • boohanna says:

              “Why should Muslim wants come before the rights of others to observe their respective religions?”

              The “elites” have got a Tiger by the tail.

              Eventually they’ll have to let go of course and then things will get a little wild.


          • Lucy Pevensey says:

            BTW- I liked the dance clip. It sounded like Nat King Cole singing. The old adage “They don’t make them like that anymore” comes to mind. They don’t make films like they used to.


  6. boohanna says:

    I am so happy the BBC is finally coming out against halal slaughter and will now campaign for halal produce to be clearly labelled as such.


    • Doublethinker says:

      I should have read your post before resorting to the pen myself. Fully agree with you.


      • boohanna says:

        Yes, it’s an obscenity of a high order.

        Can’t risk upsetting cultural sensitivities now though can we? That would be racist. Or islamophobic (and so racist by definition).

        There are no pleasant outcomes to the cultural changes that are being forced upon us. None. As long as those responsible are, at some point, brought to account then at least there might be some form of “closure”.

        PS. I was of course being sarcastic in my expectations of the bbc.


    • Despairada says:

      halal slaughter should be banned in this country. There was never a need to make exceptions to the existing law on slaughter. Otherwise agree that any imported halal meat should be labelled. I stopped buying New Zealand lamb and venison because most of it is halal, apparently.


      • boohanna says:

        Yes, I myself try to avoid any product that has attracted the “halal” label. Dominos Pizza (among others) lost my lifetime and frequent custom when I found out.

        In addition, I find it curious that there is profound resistance to the clear labelling of a product as such if halal simply represents a proud and honourable tradition?

        Why would that be?


  7. Oaknash says:

    Another anti brexit storm in a liberal media teacup.

    Fortunately on the Continent they treat animals far more humanely. I heard that in Spain the bulls always look forward to the bullfight, their horns shaved to disorientate them, small spears thrown into their body, goaded and taunted in a ring for twenty minutes before a crowd of bayng morons until finally some swaggering little ponce puts the poor, frightened, exhausted creature out of its misery.

    Still I suppose its cultural innit and that makes it alright.


  8. G.W.F. says:

    Here goes. Proposed BBC headline

    DESPITE Brexit animals will continue to be sentient