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Crabs, lobsters and other decapod crustaceans need to be protected by our UK animal welfare laws. Sign the petition today!

United Kingdom
Today, a joint letter has been submitted to Michael Gove demanding that decapod crustaceans; crabs, lobsters, shrimp and crayfish, be included under the definition of “animal” in the forthcoming Animal Welfare Bill and the 2006 Animal Welfare Act. There is now much compelling evidence that decapods, just like dogs, pigs, chickens and myriad other vertebrate animals are sentient beings, able to feel pain and suffer.

Animal Equality is a signatory of this letter as we believe that decapod crustaceans are just as deserving of protection from harm as are any other animals. Further, decapod welfare is currently completely disregarded during farming, processing, storage at restaurants and supermarkets and during killing. Death is often preceded by breaking off legs or tails while the animals are fully conscious, before they are often boiled alive. This method of killing means they suffer for at least 3 minutes before losing consciousness.

The Animal Welfare Act does however state that the act can be changed to include any invertebrate if the body charged with determining animal sentience is satisfied that this has been proven. In the case of decapod crustaceans, we believe there is overwhelming evidence showing sentience, and as such these animals must no longer be allowed to suffer with no protection for their welfare.

The UK must join countries such as Norway, Switzerland and New Zealand in providing these animals the protection they deserve. Inclusion in the imminent Animal Welfare Bill (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) and existing Anima Welfare Act would be a timely and appropriate step for the Government to take.

If you agree, you can help Crustacean Compassion achieve its goal of having decapod crustaceans reclassified as animals and provided the protection they deserve under UK law. Sign the petition today, and be a voice for these vulnerable animals!