Debates between Baroness Mallalieu and Lord Teverson during the 2019 Parliament

Mon 6th Dec 2021
Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill [HL]
Lords Chamber

Report stage part three & Lords Hansard - part three

Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill [HL]

Debate between Baroness Mallalieu and Lord Teverson
Baroness Mallalieu Portrait Baroness Mallalieu (Lab)
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My Lords, Amendment 45 in my name is in this group. I have listened to crocodiles and in the next group we will get crabs and lobsters, so I will introduce the fish. If the Minister thinks it right to put crabs and lobsters in the Bill, he might consider my amendment.

There is a very significant body of scientific evidence that fish feel pain and are sentient animals. Individuals are capable of experiencing pain and feeling emotions such as fear. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, a fish may be a protected animal if it is under the control of man, but the Explanatory Notes on Section 59 read as follows:

“This section provides that anything which occurs in the normal course of fishing is not covered by this Act … The term ‘fishing’ should be understood as applying to ordinary activities of fishermen and anglers, and also the ordinary activities of those who own and run stocked ponds in allowing fishing activities to take place on their ponds.”

My amendment proposes that precisely the same provision be placed in this Act as was put in the Animal Welfare Act 2006. It would give reassurance to a great many people who enjoy fishing.

Lord Teverson Portrait Lord Teverson (LD)
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My Lords, I echo the point of the noble Earl, Lord Caithness, about biosecurity. The implications of not taking care of biosecurity, which is mentioned in his amendment—I do not necessarily agree with all of the amendment—are fundamental; it is an ongoing threat to biodiversity and the ecological strength of this nation. I re-echo that point on biosecurity in terms of this Bill. As we know, at the moment we have few protections for biosecurity in our current arrangements, but, hopefully, that will change in the new year when there are greater controls on imports to this country. I just wanted to re-emphasise that point in the noble Earl’s amendment.