Wednesday, December 8

Treat octopus and crabs as conscious animals: UK amends Animal Welfare Act to include them

Crabs, octopus and lobsters will be recognized as sentient beings in the UK after a review of 300 articles. Scientific evidence has put on the table the sentience and consciousness of cephalopods and decapods, so these animals will be recognized under the Animal Welfare Bill.

They are protected under the law, but nothing will change (for now)

The UK Government has made public an amendment to the draft Animal Welfare Act, by which it recognizes cephalopods and decapods as sentient beings. This term does not only refer to the fact of feeling pain, but to the ability to experience feelings, such as pleasure, hunger, thirst, heat, joy, etc.

The central nervous system of these animals is complex: they have nociceptors (pain receptors) and show behaviors adapted to the damage they receive

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has been commissioned to carry out the review independently, although commissioned by the government itself. Within this group of animals are the squid, lobsters, cuttlefish, crabs and other crustaceans of this family. After a review of 300 studies, it has been determined that these animals feel and are aware of pain, having a complex central nervous system.

“The Animal Welfare Bill provides a crucial assurance that animal welfare is properly considered when developing new laws. It is now clear to science that decapods and cephalopods can feel pain and therefore it is only fair that they are covered by this vital piece of legislation Zac Goldsmith, Minister of Animal Welfare.

From the UK’s own announcement, however, they indicate that This measure will not affect any existing industrial legislation or practice, such as fishing and catching them. However, they are included in the Animal Welfare Law so that “they are considered in future decision-making.”

Via | Biotay

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