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We all know animals are sentient beings and that is enshrined in EU law in Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty and that is why it should stay as our law, to underpin how we treat all animals - whether farmed, domesticated or wild.

Scottish National Party (SNP) The Scottish Government has confirmed its commitment to animal sentience protections in law. This was recognised in the Continuity Bill which passed in the The Scottish Parliament to make sure we did not lose important EU protections and that animals did not become another unwilling victim of Brexit.

It is also enshrined in domestic legislation in Scotland through the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2006 - a Bill that is currently being updated to improve welfare protections and toughen up penalties for serious animal cruelty offences - something I have been calling for, for some time.

UK government plans for a post-Brexit Animal Welfare Bill must not fall short of this level of protection. it is essential that laws to protect animals are not at risk of being watered down once the UK leaves the EU.

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