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Animal advocates call for crustacean welfare codes


In April 2022, decapod crustaceans such as lobsters, crabs, prawns and langoustines were recognized as sentient in UK law. Subsequently, decapod crustaceans were not added to the Animal Welfare Act, but a set of voluntary decapod welfare laws were proposed by the seafood industry – made up of the Shellfish Society of Great Britain (SAGB), and the industry-led Crab and Lobster Department. Group (CMG), marine fish.

A set of regulations were expected to be consolidated by the end of 2023, to be implemented across the shellfish supply chain to create best animal welfare practices, but months later, these regulations have yet to appear.

In a report from Crustacean mercy – Crustacean welfare advocacy organization – It is estimated that more than 420 million crabs, lobsters, langoustines, prawns and prawns arrive in UK ports each year from British ships alone. Crustacean Compassion claims that without welfare regulations in place, this would mean that large numbers of decapods would be torn apart alive, mutilated, crushed during transport, stored alive on ice, and boiled alive because no one wanted to take responsibility for that. Welfare practices of these sentient animals.

While the wait for regulations continues, some supermarkets are implementing their own strict policies, such as Marks & Spencer, which has committed to higher welfare standards such as electrocution and eliminating deformities through its supply chains. However, this is not the case in much of the supply chain, with many companies choosing to do nothing until industry regulations are issued.

“The Conservative government has really dropped the ball on animal welfare. We have a situation where companies like Marks and Spencer are leading on decapod welfare, and the government is looking the other way,” Dr Ben Sturgeon, chief executive of Crustacean Compassion, said in a press release.

“When clear legislation is needed to ensure all sentient animals are protected equally under animal welfare law, the government has abdicated its responsibility to the seafood industry which is also delaying the inevitable, which is that decapods should be part of animal welfare legislation In this country,” he added.



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