Consultation outcome

Draft Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill 2017

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Summary of responses

Detail of outcome

We received 9,084 responses to this consultation. We also received 64,169 responses from the campaign organisation 38 Degrees, who conducted their own survey.

The consultation set out proposals to ensure animal sentience is reflected in domestic law when we leave the EU. Work on finalising our proposals on animal sentience will continue.

We will be changing the maximum penalty for offences under section 32(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to be 5 years and/or an unlimited fine.

We’ll also be looking at making it easier to prosecute attacks on service animals (like police dogs and horses). We’re supporting the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill (Finn’s law) introduced by Sir Oliver Heald MP.

Original consultation


Seeking views on our draft Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill.

This consultation was held on another website.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

We want to know what you think about our draft Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill which does two things. It states that animals are sentient beings and it increases the maximum penalty for animal welfare cruelty offences from 6 months to 5 years imprisonment.

Published 12 December 2017
Last updated 14 August 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated the summary of responses to include Humane Society International UK in the list of respondents.
  2. Added the summary of responses.
  3. First published.