The United Kingdom has officially included decapod crustaceans (crabs, crab and crab) and cephalopod molluscs (octopus, squid and catfish) in the group of sentient beings, i.e. those with sensations such as pain and suffering. The move falls within the ambit of the Animal Welfare (Consciousness) Bill, which in May this year brought together 50 companies, with a report entitled “Action for Animals” (Action), to redefine the care to be taken by animals by the British Government on Animals). They called on the government to treat all animals as sentient beings, with an animal sensitivity committee (which must have zoologists) to hold ministers accountable for animal welfare violations when the bill becomes law.
The bill was extended after a panel led by Jonathan Birch, associate professor of philosophy, logic and science at the London School of Economics, conducted an independent review of more than 300 studies. “Strong scientific evidence that decapod crustaceans and cephalopod mollusks are sensitive”.
Invertebrates, that is, vertebrates, have already been included in the bill, but non-vertebrates are not recognized as sensitive, although their nervous system is complex – one of the main hallmarks of consciousness.
“This change will also help eliminate an important paradox: octopuses and other cephalopods have been protected in science for many years, but so far have received no protection outside the sciences.
To make this happen, the team of scientists would like to reconsider the treatment of these animals’ commercial practices and recommend the decision to “pick, cut, remove the eye, and sell live decapod crustaceans to untrained and inexperienced handlers.” As “boil to live without stunning”. Best practices for “traffic, astonishment and assassination” are also recommended.
However, this change will not affect current law or even business practices. This means that it would still be legal to put live lobster or live octopus in a boiling pot in British restaurants, which is banned in countries such as Switzerland, Norway, Austria and New Zealand. In the United States, it has been illegal to cook live lobster since 1999, but this is not the case with octopuses, the most intelligent creatures, and a series of documentaries have been put on the agenda.
* Marta f. Reese edited text
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