A bill that states octopuses, crabs, and lobsters feel pain and for this reason, should not be boiled alive is gaining traction in the United Kingdom.
According the UK government commissioned a report on the matter from experts at the London School of Economics (LSE).
These researchers combed through 300 scientific studies in search of proof that cephalopods (animals like octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish) and decapods (animals like crabs, lobsters, and crawfish) are either sentient or essentially insentient, when it comes to feeling pain.
Their studies revealed that such creatures can experience suffering and should not be boiled alive.
The researchers also provided UK officials with an explanation of best practices related to the transport and slaughter of these animals.
With the release of LSE’s report, cephalopods and decapods were added to an official list of sentient beings that will be protected under the UK’s new animal welfare laws.
“The Animal Welfare Sentience Bill provides a crucial assurance that animal wellbeing is rightly considered when developing new laws. The science is now clear that decapods and cephalopods can feel pain and therefore it is only right they are covered by this vital piece of legislation,” said Animal Welfare Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith in a statement.
The bill is not yet a law, but it’s already making waves.
With the bill comes the required establishment of an Animal Sentience Committee in the UK.
The new committee will be responsible for keeping a pulse on the government’s success or failure in protecting the welfare of sentient animals.
According to the formation this committee is part of a wider Action Plan for Animal Welfare.