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Decapod crustaceans have feelings too

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By Georgina Mills

More than 50 scientists, lawyers, wildlife experts and celebrities have signed an open letter calling on the government to recognise decapod crustaceans, such as crayfish, crabs and lobsters, in animal welfare legislation.

Spearheaded by Crustacean Compassion, an animal welfare organisation dedicated to obtaining full legal protection for decapod crustaceans, the letter asks environment secretary Michael Gove to include these crustaceans under the definition of ‘animal’ in the proposed Animal Welfare Bill (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) and in the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The letter says that decapods fall outside of the legal definition of ‘animal’ in the existing legislation (Animal Welfare Act 2006). However, it points out there is provision for a national authority to take the case for invertebrates to …

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