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