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Our report Code of Practice for the Welfare of Decapod Crustaceans in the Food Chain: from Capture to Killing

Since 2022, decapod crustaceans have been recognised by UK legislation as 'sentient beings'. It is therefore essential that account is taken of the impact on their physical and mental welfare of all experiences throughout the capture-to-killing process. Hence, current practices may need to be adapted as necessary.


The purpose of these Codes of Practice is to provide a framework of good practice guidance for the treatment of decapod crustaceans used in the food chain. The intention is that the Codes should support, encourage, and facilitate protection of - and improvement to - their welfare.

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Our report Sea to Plate: The welfare journey of decapod crustaceans

Every year billions of animals like crabs, lobsters, nephrops (langoustines), prawns and crayfish (decapod crustaceans) are captured and transported around the world by sea, air and land for commercial purposes. In the UK alone, over 420 million decapod crustaceans are landed by UK vessels into UK ports.


Throughout the journey from sea to plate, they experience multiple stages – capture, storage, transport and eventual slaughter – each of which has their own set of stressors which result in low welfare, increased disease prevalence or mortality.

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The Snapshot is the first UK industry benchmark to assesses the management and reporting practices of 30 UK companies, including household name brands and all major supermarkets.


It covers the welfare of crabs, lobsters and other crustaceans at every stage of the supply chain, from capture and handling to storage and slaughter, scoring companies on a number of key criteria and identifying areas of progress, as well as areas where improvements are needed.


Download below, and let's share far and wide!

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Our report Why decapod crustaceans deserve legal animal welfare protection

We have published a report which lays out the legal, ethical and public interest case for the protection of animals such as crabs and lobsters (decapod crustaceans).


We explain the science, show why the protection of decapods is commercially and legally feasible, and demonstrate the wealth of public and scientific support for our case.


Download below, and let's share far and wide!

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LSE report Review of the Evidence of Sentience in Cephalopod Molluscs and Decapod Crustaceans

In 2018, following a Crustacean Compassion campaign, the UK government committed to conduct a review of decapod sentience (along with cephalopod molluscs).


This report was published in November 2021, and it’s findings concluded that there is strong evidence of sentience in decapod crustaceans. 


It recommended that the definition of animal be expanded to include decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs in the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill and their inclusion be considered in other animal welfare legislation.

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