Do shrimps, octopus and lobsters, like cats or dogs, have sensitivity? Can they feel pleasure or pain? According to the UK government, the answer is yes. As Slate recounts, Tuesday, November 23, local authorities wish to broaden the scope of the animal welfare law, Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill, by also including cephalopods (molluscs) and decapods (crustaceans) five-legged).
This decision comes after a study by the London School of Economics and Political Science. According to the independent group of scientists commissioned by the British government, some invertebrates may be able to experience feelings of joy, excitement, hunger or even thirst. This research is based on a collection of 300 studies demonstrating the “sientence” (ability to experience sensations) of these molluscs and other crustaceans. Being endowed with a “complex central nervous system”, crabs, crayfish, octopus, cuttlefish and squid will be protected by law, just like vertebrate species.
For now, restaurants can still sell shellfish. But once the bill is passed, these invertebrate species will be affected by the new animal protection measures. In their report, the researchers recommend that certain slaughtering techniques, such as live dismemberment, be discontinued. They also want unqualified individuals to no longer be able to obtain live crabs. As Slate points out, several countries, including Switzerland and New Zealand, have already banned live scalding of crustaceans.