Fri. Dec 3rd, 2021

A sensitive octopus.

A sensitive octopus.
Pictures: Frederick J. Brown / AFP (Getty Images)

Marine invertebrates like octopus, squid, shrimp and crayfish are able to experience pain, hunger, pleasure and excitement among other expressions. Feelings The UK government will now update its new Animal Welfare Bill accordingly.

Last May, the UK government said Introduced Its animals Welfare (sentence)) Bill, where it has recognized vertebrates (animals with back bones) as sensitive animals. Seeing the law as incomplete, the government has “studied the sensations of decapod crustaceans and cephalopods, and in light of these future results, it will” consider “further protection.” Action plans for animal welfare.

This was a smart decision, since vertebrates are generally seen as “lower” animals than vertebrates, which is not really fair. For example, octopuses are known for their amazing problems-Ability to solve and investigate, Even funny, Nature.

The review, conducted by the London School of Economics and Political Science, is now complete with a panel of experts. Finish Those cephalopods, A group that includes lobsters, crabs, shrimps, shrimps, crayfish, And decapods, A team that includes octopuses, squid and cuttlefish, They have “complex central nervous system, one of the main features of feeling” and they are later able to experience “feelings of pain, pleasure, hunger, thirst, warmth, pleasure, comfort and excitement”.

The review, led by Jonathan Birch, a professor at LSE’s Center for Philosophy of Natural and Social Sciences, draws on 300 existing scientific studies. The team considered eight different criteria for perception, including the presence of pain receptors and the region of the integral brain, capacity. For collaborative learning (as opposed to habit and sensitivity), and “flexible self-defense techniques used in response to injury and threat,” as Nicola Clayton, professor of comparative knowledge at Cambridge University, wrote in the new mouthpiece Reevaluation.

Equipped with these results, U.S.Who Government Said It will now amend the Animal Welfare Bill accordingly. A. Press releaseAnimal Welfare Minister Lord Jack Goldsmith says the updated bill “provides an important guarantee that animal health is properly considered when enacting new legislation” and because “science is now clear that decapods and cephalopods can cause pain … it’s just Exactly they are covered by this important part of the law. ”

Birch said the updated bill would help fix a significant inconsistency. In the UK, cephalopod protection already exists in the world of science But “so far there has been no protection outside of science,” as he explained in an LSE press release. He added: “One of the ways in which the UK can lead animal welfare is to protect these invertebrates, which people often completely ignore.”

The full impact of the newly updated bill is not yet known, but it does mean that these marine invertebrates could eventually be covered by strong legal protections. And indeed, Birch and his colleagues have evaluated a number of objectionable commercial practices related to these animals, such as declowing, nicking (cutting the tendons from crab claws), and istalk ablation (sometimes cutting the stalks of female shrimp to speed up reproduction). By Live decapoded to untrained handlers, and the extreme practice of boiling live lobster without electrical stunning.

According to the UK government, however, the declaration of cephalopods and decapods as sensitive animals “will not affect any existing law or industry practice such as fishing” and There will be “no direct impact on the shellfish catch or restaurant industry.” Rather, the resulting amendment would ensure that “animal welfare is well considered in future decision making.”

It’s obviously extremely frustrating, and I have to wonder why they even bothered. Good press? Appeal to voters? An attempt to look progressive? Maybe. Nevertheless, despite the fact that this step is very slow, it is a step in the right direction. “Future decision making” is what the U.S. hopes forWho The government speaks soon and these marine creatures get the protection they deserve.

More: The UK’s new animal welfare plan is both very good and almost inadequate.

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