A small step for humankind, a great leap for crustaceans: cooking of live animals banned in Britain


Cooking a live lobster will soon be banned in the UK. The British government announced on Friday that they are updating the Animal Welfare Act. Octopus, crabs and lobsters will now also be included. This happens after about 300 studies that show that crustaceans and molluscs have senses.

In some countries, including Switzerland and New Zealand, live cooking of shellfish is already illegal. Now the British government has announced on Friday that decapods, an order of crustaceans, cephalopods and a class of molluscs will be covered by the Animal Welfare Bill. These are animals such as octopuses, cuttlefiQsh, crabs, lobsters to shrimps. Unlike some other spineless animals, decapod crustaceans and cephalopods have a complex central nervous system. One of the most important features of consciousness. ,Octopuses and other cephalopods have been protected in science for years, but until now there was no protection outside”, says Jonathan Birch, a professor at the LSE, who worked on the research.

The finding follows a dispute over the Animal Welfare Act, which recognises all vertebrates as living beings. The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation presented its own report to the government, arguing that crustaceans and molluscs also have feelings. The ministers responded and asked the London School of Economics and Political Science to conduct independent research. And as it turns out, the report, which was published this month, found “strong evidence” that such animals are sensitive.

In addition to the animals not cooking alive, the report also included specific recommendations, including: a ban on the proclamation of crabs, a ban on the sale of live crabs and lobsters to ‘untrained, non – expert persons’ and a ban on the above slaughter methods where a viable alternative exists.

In the announcement, the British government said that the law is there’ to ensure that animal welfare is properly considered in future decision-making’. The law would not affect existing legislation or industrial practices such as fishing.


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