Campaigners stood outside the House of Lords in the UK as amendments were given to the Animal Welfare Bill currently being contested. The additional amendment outlines that lobsters and crabs can feel pain. This new amendment could include provisions to prevent boiling these animals alive, Crustacean Compassion, an animal welfare group reported.

The bill was introduced in May and includes intensive animal welfare reforms. Crustacean Compassion and others including Chris Packham and the British Veterinary Association note that lobsters and suffer and feel pain and should be included in the legislation.

Maisie Tomlinson of Crustacean Compassion said in an emailed statement, “We hope the House of Lords votes to accept this amendment at the earliest opportunity. Decapod crustaceans are Britain’s forgotten animals, widely recognised as sentient but subject to brutal treatment in the food industry. The government made a manifesto commitment to promote high standards of animal welfare, and prides itself on being led by the science. It cannot decide which animals are sentient based on political convenience, and if the independent review of decapod and cephalopod sentience is so critical to the Lords’ decision-making, we urge them not to delay its release any further”.

The influential Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF) is meeting with the government to push for the sentience of invertebrates. As it stands now, the bill recognizes that fish and other vertebrates feel pain, but does not include invertebrates. MPs in the CAWF believe they should be included. A report from CAWF found that fishing operations in the UK land 420 million cephalopods and crustaceans annually.

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