Great News. . . What Next?
Last week, on Thursday 7th April, the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill completed its time in Parliament and is ready to become law!
This was a really significant moment for animal welfare as for the very first-time animals like crabs, lobsters and prawns (decapod crustaceans) are included in UK legislation.
Inclusion in the Sentience Bill means that the welfare of these animals must be considered in policy making decisions and will influence how they are handled and treated. At the moment, decapods have no more protection than vegetables. They are boiled alive, chopped up alive, sent live in the post... This legal protection is long overdue!
Now the Sentience Bill is sorted, you might find yourself asking, What Next?
We will continue to #DemandMoreForDecapods
There are numerous animal welfare laws throughout the UK that regulate and monitor the use and treatment of animals. Prior to the Sentience Bill, decapods were included in none of these laws. Now that we have the Sentience Bill under our belt, we’re moving on to campaign for their inclusion in the others!
These pieces of legislation are:
Animal Welfare Acts - These are the flagship animal welfare protection laws in the UK, and there are three separate pieces of legislation covering England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. - The Animal Welfare Acts create a duty of care to protect animals from unnecessary suffering and sets out what steps must be taken to ensure the needs of animals are met.
Animals (Scientific Procedures) Acts - There are two pieces of legislation regulating the use of animals in scientific research in Great Britain and in Northern Ireland. - Decapods are used in scientific studies, but as they are not covered by this legislation, they can be used for any purpose, and there is no record of how many animals are used. Protection in this act would ensure their welfare is monitored and records kept on the number of animals used for each study.
Welfare at the Time of Killing Regulations and Welfare of Animals (Transport) Orders - There are separate regulations in all four nations of the UK which create a duty to protect from unnecessary suffering during killing and transportation. - These laws are extremely important as decapods suffer extensively during transport and slaughter. They are sent live in the post, transported on long-distance journeys, and slaughtered by methods such as live boiling and live dismemberment.
None of these changes require new laws, Ministers have the power to expand the scope of each piece of legislation to include decapods.
It will be a big task, but the inclusion of these animals in the Sentience Bill provides a strong foundation for protecting them in other laws.
To help us move forward into the next step of our campaign and get decapods protected in other laws, donate now: