Sunday, 4 February 2018

Lobsters and crabs should not be boiled alive, say campaigners

By Paul Rincon
Science editor, BBC News website

More than 50 high-profile campaigners and celebrities have called for stronger protection to prevent lobsters and crabs being cooked alive.

They have signed a letter urging Environment Secretary Michael Gove to categorise the crustaceans as sentient organisms in a new Animal Welfare Bill.

The organisers point to mounting scientific evidence that shows the animals can feel pain.

Signatories include presenter Chris Packham and comedian Bill Bailey.

They also include representatives from the RSPCA and the British Veterinary Association.

Establishing whether some animal groups feel pain can take years of scientific research.

But there has been considerable scientific research on sentience in decapods - the crustacean group that includes lobsters and crabs - since Parliament passed the Animal Welfare Act in 2006.

Maisie Tomlinson, from the campaign group Crustacean Compassion, which organised the letter, told BBC News: "It's really not acceptable to be boiling animals alive, to be cutting them up alive.
"All the evidence out there at the moment points to the notion that they're capable of experiencing pain."

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