Events of 2022 so far. . .
Now that in-person events are back in full-force, we’ve been making the most of these opportunities to meet and discuss decapod welfare with experts in the field. Events are a really important way for us to keep up to date with current affairs and ensure the suffering of decapods is kept on the agenda of key decision makers.
International Connections In April, our Corporate Engagement Advisor Jane headed to Spain to attend the Seafood Global Expo. As the world’s largest seafood trade gathering, the event in Barcelona attracts over 2,000 exhibitors from more than 85 countries. So, it was an unmissable opportunity for us to engage with the industry.
The three-day event gave us a valuable insight into current working practices related to decapod crustacean welfare, as well as the chance to talk to key figures in the seafood trade. It was clear that sustainability is a major focus for the industry, now and in the future and animal welfare should be an essential part of any sustainability strategy.
UK Industry Insights Closer to home, in May the Shellfish Association of Great Britain’s (SAGB) annual conference in London was a great event for us to connect with the UK shellfish industry and to learn more about the pressures, challenges and opportunities facing the sector.
The conference featured many interesting talks, including a presentation on the ongoing development of new Codes of Practice for the handling of decapod crustaceans. It was good to hear that the trade response to the prospect of updated guidance was broadly positive. We look forward to engaging with industry on the development of these Codes of Practice conference over the coming months.
In June we joined Fishing Into The Future’s online event on the impact of the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Act on the seafood industry. It was an extremely interesting and engaging session, which included key discussions about the industry’s objective to develop new Codes of Practice to ensure humane handling and slaughter practices for decapod crustaceans across the full supply chain.
Political Meets Turning our attention to politics, our Director Claire and Senior Policy & Public Affairs Advisor Russell attended the Humane Society International’s Parliamentary Reception in Westminster. Many big names of animal welfare came together to urge the UK government to improve animal welfare.
At the event they had the chance to catch up with animal advocate and Crustacean Compassion supporter Peter Egan, who signed our 2018 open letter calling for the legal protection of decapods:
Russell was also able to attend a meeting of the Trade Animal Welfare Coalition in Parliament where the new report calling for core standards for animal welfare in future trade deals was launched. MPs from across the political divide spoke about the importance of maintaining animal welfare standards as more trade agreements are signed in the future. More recently we also joined the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) for their Annual Parliamentary Reception – where MPs and NGOs joined to hear recent updates on LACS campaigns. These events provide great opportunities to remind policymakers of the importance of decapod welfare.
Discussing Welfare Alongside our industry and political engagements, we’ve been discussing key topics in animal welfare with scientists, veterinarians, and lawyers.
Our Director Claire spoke at a UK Centre for Animal Law event ‘A Deep Dive: Exploring the facts behind UK Fish & Crustacean Welfare’. Claire spoke alongside Culum Brown who studies behavioural ecology, Dr Jonathan Birch who was the lead author of the LSE Report, Paula Sparks who teaches animal law at Winchester University, and Amro Hussain who is a political activist.
Our Campaign Coordinator Ann attended a conference on Interspecies Comparisons of Welfare at the London School of Economics. This two-day conference was jam-packed full of thought-provoking talks on use of animals in the food industry and in science.
Needless to say, we learnt lots and made some great contacts and are looking forward to more events to come. In the coming weeks we will be attending the UFAW International Conference: Advancing Animal Welfare Science 2022; HSA International Conference: Livestock Welfare during Transport, Marketing & Slaughter; and ALAW’s Global Animal Law Conference celebrating the bicentenary anniversary of Martin’s Act 1822, Britain’s first animal protection law. Registration is still open; join us there!