A New Year message from our CEO
Thank you for all your support over the last 12 months.
It has been a long journey from a small group of committed volunteers who in 2017 first acted to raise awareness and fight for the welfare of decapods. Now at the end of 2023 Crustacean Compassion have led the UK and international partners in changing political, corporate, and public opinion to highlight the needs of these fascinating and vital creatures.
Building on our success of 2022 when crustacean decapods were recognised as sentient creatures, without a doubt among the many high points of 2023 was the development and publication of several influential and important resources. These included the Sea-to-Plate Welfare Report, the Crustacean Compassion Codes of Practice, and the Crustacean Industry Welfare Hub. All of these allowed us to work with and call for the increased welfare for billions of animals with commercial industry leaders, key government groups and within academia and legal counsel. This has directly led to the Home Office undertaking a review of decapod crustaceans in research, the publication of decapod centred welfare policies by leading retailers, a review of common practices by industry leaders and the development of research into humane dispatch methods for key species. We are seeing a defined shift in corporate attitudes among some major industry players, as our second Snapshot report due for release on the 17th of January will demonstrate.
I wish I could say that these achievements have resulted in permanent solutions towards higher welfare, sustainable food production, and protection of the ocean environment. However, hundreds of millions of animals suffer on a national scale, and billions globally. They are exposed to inappropriate and sometimes appalling conditions resulting in significant and unacceptable welfare compromises, high levels of injury and death, and slaughter techniques that are wholly inappropriate for a sentient species.
This precipitated our current campaign – ‘Close the Loophole’ – calling for the inclusion of decapods within the Animal Welfare Act, the only sentient species not to be added. Inclusion within this act would remove abhorrent practices such as live posting, cooking alive, freezing alive, live mutilations, crushing, huge mortality rates in all stages of the industry chain, inappropriate slaughter, the list goes on.
Public engagement, raising awareness and building support is central to our work. In 2023 public facing campaigns WERE launched demanding calls for action and led to Crustacean Compassion successfully pressuring Amazon into suspending all live sales, to BBC Good Food removing information on home slaughter, and to several companies committing to review of their welfare policies.
With your support we will continue to strive towards our global Vision and Mission where decapod crustaceans are valued as sentient animals; and where we lead and convene change across policy, industry, and culture, both nationally and globally, to create a world with legal protection and humane treatment for all decapods.
To a peaceful and prosperous 2024.
Dr Ben Sturgeon CEO