Today Abigail gave notice of a Greens Bill to change NSW's animal welfare laws to explicitly recognise that animals are sentient beings.
Current animal welfare legislation is framed to view animals as a kind of property, failing to recognise the agency or capacity for emotions and awareness that animals have.
Abigail's Greens bill will correct this major omission and lay the foundation upon which we can build better animal welfare standards in this state.
The Bill will amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 to recognise the sentience of animals and their intrinsic value, to define cruelty to an animal by reference to different forms of suffering, and for other purposes.
The Bill will officially recognise the sentience and intrinsic value of animals and the duty people have to care for the physical and mental welfare of animals in their charge. It will also insert a definition of cruelty to an animal that recognises different forms of suffering, and amend the definition of pain to include emotional or mental suffering and distress.