It’s Official: New Zealand Recognizes Animals as ‘Sentient Beings’


Vegan Memo – TRANSCEND Media Service

Law States Animals can Feel

lamb carneiro animal

19 Jul 2015 – Many of us have been aware that animals are feeling, intelligent creatures. While Animal Protection Agencies and individuals across the World have promoted this truth, a government has now passed a Law proclaiming it. It’s official in New Zealand at least – Animals are Sentinent Beings!

New Zealand just took a huge a step forward for animal welfare by legally recognizing them as “sentient” beings.

sheep_and_lamb animal new zealand sentient beings

The amendment to New Zealand law on behalf of the The Animal Welfare Amendment was passed on Tuesday. The new bill states that animals, like humans, are “sentient” beings — meaning they are able to perceive and feel things.

“To say that animals are sentient is to state explicitly that they can experience both positive and negative emotions, including pain and distress,” said Dr Virginia Williams, chair of the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee. “The explicitness is what is new and marks another step along the animal welfare journey.”

The bill also includes banning cosmetic testing on animals, which was recently put into law last month.

It also provides for a penalty scheme to enable moderate offending to be handled more effectively, and gives animal welfare inspectors the power to issue compliance notices, among other capacities.

The new bill is one of many positive strides that New Zealand has made recently when it comes to animal welfare and environmental issues.

“Expectations on animal welfare have been rapidly changing. The bill brings legislation in line with our nation’s changing attitude on the status of animals in society,” said New Zealand Veterinary Association president Dr Steve Merchant.

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