The government is currently planning a raft of new animal welfare legislation, including a potential Sentience Bill, which would require government policy makers to protect animals as sentient beings after Britain leaves the EU. Defra are deciding NOW whether decapods should be included under its protections. If they are, it would finally help give crabs, lobsters and other crustaceans the protection from cruelty they deserve.
Crustacean Compassion needs you to urgently ask your MP to ensure crabs and lobsters are included in the Sentience Bill.
As a nation of animal lovers, most of us wouldn’t dream of boiling an animal alive, ripping their limbs off without pain relief, or denying them basic freedom of movement.
Yet this is exactly what happens on a daily basis to millions of crabs, lobsters and crayfish. These animals are now widely regarded by leading experts and professional bodies to be sentient creatures – capable of experiencing pain.
Despite scientific consensus that decapod crustaceans feel pain, the UK Government are yet to provide any form of legal protection for these animals.
There is wide support from eminent scientists, national veterinary bodies and animal welfare organisations to include decapod crustaceans in the UK’s animal welfare laws. Over 54,000 people have signed the Crustacean Compassion petition calling for their protection so far.
And there is hope on the horizon. The UK Government will soon be considering a new piece of legislation following Brexit – the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill. This legislation would serve to recognise the sentience of animals in UK law, carrying over a duty previously imposed by the EU to ensure the basis for animal protection.
But decapod crustaceans are at risk of being excluded from this new legislation.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have opened an investigation into whether decapod crustaceans are capable of feeling pain. But there is a chance these animals may be excluded from legislation that would serve to recognise their sentience.
We think this is unacceptable.
We need your support so the government knows that people care about this issue. Please do not let these animals be forgotten.
To find out more about Crustacean Compassion’s work to protect decapod crustaceans (and cephalopods), visit www.crustaceancompassion.org.uk
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