I am really pleased that the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill has had cross party support because it is such an important Bill. The Bill enshrines the recognition that animals are sentient in domestic law. It also creates a proportionate accountability mechanism to help reassure that central government policymaking takes this into account.
As you mentioned, this Bill will create an Animal Sentience Committee with experts which will produce reports on how well policy decisions have paid all due regard to the welfare of animals. The relevant minister must then respond to reports via statements to Parliament. From now on, ministers will need to be ready to show that the needs of animals have been considered in relevant policy decisions. This is a much awaited reform and I am delighted the Government has brought this Bill forward.