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Will the either the USA or China improve on their score on an the Animal Protection Index indicator for recognition of animal sentience, by the end 2022?
Recent work in neuroscience suggests that consciousness may not depend on a highly developed cortex, or on any particular brain structure. In 2012, an international group of neuroscientists released "The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness," arguing that nonhuman animals (including all mammals, birds, octopuses, and some others) possess the neurological substrates that generate consciousness, and that consciousness and intentionality are not uniquely human attributes.
In the US, there is some federal legislation recognising some aspects of animal sentience in some animals. In particular, the preamble to the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1958 explains that the use of humane methods in the slaughter of livestock prevents needless suffering, thereby acknowledging this capacity in non-human animals. However, the legislation does not extend to poultry, fish, rabbits or other animals routinely slaughtered for food.
In China, the recognition of non-human animal sentience is very limited: according to Wold Animal Protection, only a couple Chinese legislative articles refer to the humane treatment of animals and measures to ensure that the animals in question do not suffer, whereas most articles regulating the treatment of animals do not.
In 2017, the USA produced the most beef and veal, and poultry in the world, whilst China produces the most Pork in the world.
Will the Animal Protection Index award either the USA or China with a higher grade than received it in the 2014 index for its recognition of animal sentience by the end 2022?
This question resolves positively if either the USA receives a grade of C or above, or China receives a grade D or above (or both), in the second edition of the Animal Protection Index, planned to be released in early 2020. This question resolves ambiguously if the grades for China and the USA for the indicator "Formal Recognition of Animal Sentience" are not issued before the end of 2022.
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