Octopuses, crabs and lobsters are recognized as sentient beings in the UK | Science and Ecology | DW

Crabs, lobsters, octopuses and other species of decapod crustaceans and cephalopod mollusks have been recognized in the UK as having the ability to feel.

This was announced on Friday (11/19/2021) by the British government, which to make this decision was based on solid evidence from more than 300 scientific studies carried out by the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Research determined that these species have the ability to experience distress, pain, thirst, hunger, warmth, joy, and comfort, among other things.

The ad says the bill “already recognizes all animals with backbones (vertebrates) as sentient beings. However, unlike other invertebrates (animals without backbones), decapod crustaceans and cephalopods have central nervous systems. complexes, one of the key hallmarks of sentience. “

Protecting these species beyond science

This British government amendment, which falls within the changes to the Animal Welfare Bill, was celebrated by Jonathan Birch, the review’s lead researcher: “I am pleased to see the government implement a central recommendation from my report. team, “Birch said.

“Octopuses and other cephalopods have been protected in science for years, but have not received any protection outside of it until now,” the expert added.

Recommendations on how not to damage them

Likewise, the report released mentions specific recommendations on how to properly maintain the welfare of these animals. For example, mention is made of the prohibition of extirpating dactyls from crustaceans, that non-experts can sell them alive and that they resort to preparation methods such as cooking them alive.

In other countries such as Switzerland or New Zealand it is forbidden to boil live crustaceans.

The measures taken by the British government will not affect any existing legislation, nor will the performance of the fishing or restaurant industry.

Edited by José Ignacio Urrejola