UK Government Officially Recognises Octopuses, Lobsters And Other Cephalopods As Sentient Beings

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UK Government Officially Recognises Octopuses, Lobsters And Other Cephalopods As Sentient Beings

The United Kingdom has legally recognised the sentience of octopuses, squids, and lobsters, as well as all other decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs.


The change in the law comes as part of an amendment to the Animal Welfare Sentience Bill which governs how such animal should be treated in places such as the food supply chain.


The decision to make the change came after a report was commissioned by the government with the London School of Economics and Political Science which determined that the creatures can, as a result of their complex nerve and brain systems, feel pain, pleasure, hunger, thirst, warmth, joy, comfort and excitement.


The report from LSE said:


"[Our] view is that the time has come to include cephalopod molluscs and decapod crustaceans in UK animal welfare law in an explicit way… and to take proportionate steps to regulate practices that are a source of reasonable and widespread animal welfare concerns."


A press release from the government stated however that no existing marine industry operations and practices will be affected by the law. That said, the change brings hope to animal welfare activists who say it is a step in the right direction.


The government report states:


"The scope of the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill has today been extended to recognise lobsters, octopus and crabs and all other decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs as sentient beings. The move follows the findings of a government-commissioned independent review by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) which concluded there is strong scientific evidence decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs are sentient. The Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill already recognises all animals with a backbone (vertebrates) as sentient beings. However, unlike some other invertebrates (animals without a backbone ), decapod crustaceans and cephalopods have complex central nervous systems, one of the key hallmarks of sentience."


Adding:


"The Bill, when it becomes law, will establish an Animal Sentience Committee made up of experts from within the field. They will be able to issue reports on how well government decisions have taken account of the welfare of sentient animals with Ministers needing to respond to Parliament."


[Based on reporting by: Futurism]


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Thinking Humanity: UK Government Officially Recognises Octopuses, Lobsters And Other Cephalopods As Sentient Beings
UK Government Officially Recognises Octopuses, Lobsters And Other Cephalopods As Sentient Beings
The United Kingdom has legally recognised the sentience of octopuses, squids, and lobsters, as well as all other decapod crustaceans and cephalopod mo
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