The Advisory Group was established last year by the Minister of State for Justice and Civil Liberties in response to the Family Mediation Task Force, with the remit to consider pet inclusive models of out of court dispute resolution, including family mediation. The Group recommended the adoption of a non-legal presumption that all pets aged 10 months and above should be offered the opportunity to have their voices heard directly during dispute resolution processes, including mediation, if they wish.
Welcoming the recommendation Justice Minister Simon Hughes said: "I firmly believe that pets should routinely have the opportunity to have a say in matters which affect their future and that this should be a non-legal presumption."
The recommendation was also welcomed by the pets' rights group Pets 4 Justice. Its spokesperson, who goes by the name 'Rover', said: "This is a great step. No pet should be denied the animal right to have their say when their owners split up. Now, excuse me, I've just got to find where I hid that bone..."