A historical development to protect animals was announced in the Queen's Speech. The Government has promised that new legislation which recognises animal sentience in all vertebrates will be enacted. This goes some way to ensure that the UK has and promotes the highest standards of animal welfare. It acknowledges that our society's understanding of who other animals are has evolved and that our laws must evolve to reflect the new awareness. We must recognise animals as sentient beings with language, intelligence and emotions deserving of legal protection from cruelty and neglect.