Today (19th November), we warmly welcome the Government’s decision to amend the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill, and recognise decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs, including lobsters, octopus and crabs, as sentient beings.
The Government’s amendment follows the publication of scientific research from the London School of Economics, which concluded there is strong scientific evidence that decapods and cephalopods are sentient animals, capable of suffering and feeling pain.
A complex, intelligent and sensitive species
“We are delighted the Government has accepted the findings of the report, and that Defra will introduce an amendment to the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill in order to include these species in the list of animals considered sentient,” said James West, our Senior Policy Manager.“It’s great news that their sentience will become legally recognised and given “all due regard” in UK Government policy.”
Today’s amendment follows the Government’s new Action Plan for Animal Welfare, which was announced in May.
Octopus Farming – A recipe for disaster
In October, we launched a new report 'Octopus Factory Farming: A Recipe for Disaster', highlighting how plans to expand octopus factory farming would cause these sentient beings, who are uniquely unsuitable to intensive farming, due to their due to their solitary and inquisitive nature, to suffer greatly. The report also exposes the lack of any approved humane slaughter method for these animals.
Ask your MP to support the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill when it is debated in Parliament to ensure that animals are legally recognised as sentient beings.