I Woof, Therefore I Am: ACT Proposes Bill To Recognise Animal Sentience
Just like us, dogs can have a “ruff” day. In an Australian first, animals in the ACT are being recognised as sentient beings under the eyes of the law. The proposed ACT bill is backed by science which supports the idea that all vertebrates (and some invertebrates) can perceive the world around them.
The bill will result in harsh penalties to owners in the ACT who mistreat their furry friends and members of the public will be able break into strangers cars to save distressed animals.
But the proposed legislation may be a stepping stone to national animal welfare reform. The vast majority of the public agree that animal welfare in Australian farms is a strong issue of concern, and this state legislation may have implications on a national scale.