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We welcome finding of government-commissioned report that crustaceans can feel pain

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Orange and black crab on grey sand

We call on Government to implement its recommendations on crustacean sentience

The long-awaited government-commissioned report on decapod crustacean and cephalopod mollusc sentience has been published today by the London School of Economics. It is welcome news that the report recognises the sentience of crustaceans and cephalopods and recommends that crustaceans are brought within the scope of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA).

The report represents a step in the right direction for the protection of decapods and cephalopods which include lobsters, crabs and prawns. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence of their sentience and ability to feel pain, decapods and cephalopods do not currently have the same legal protections as vertebrate animals in the UK, and decapods are still not within the scope of ASPA, the law which governs the use of animals in experiments.

Our Director of Public Affairs, Kerry Postlewhite, said:

“We welcome the report’s recognition of the sentience of decapods and cephalopods. It reflects what many scientists and campaigners have been telling government for years, that there is significant evidence that decapods and cephalopods experience pain and suffering, including when they are used in experiments.

“Whilst we campaign for an end to all animal experiments – including on decapods and cephalopods - we would urge Ministers to implement the recommendation to bring decapods within the scope of ASPA and to enshrine the sentience of decapods and cephalopods in the Animal Sentience Bill which returns to the House of Lords on 30 November.”