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Promoting decapod welfare at Party Conferences

The Party Conference season is over for another year – as politicians, activists and lobbyists return home from a three-week tour of England, taking in Bournemouth for the Lib Dem Conference, Manchester for the Conservatives and finally the Labour Conference in Liverpool this week.

It is possible that these are the last Conferences before the next UK General Election, which must take place before the end of December next year. As such they are important not only to gauge the mood of the party faithful but also the policy development as work continues on the manifestos we will all be asked to endorse at the ballot box.

Party Conferences are as always, a mixed affair, with senior figures speaking on the main stage while a range of topics are debated in the fringe meetings which take place from breakfast time to the early hours of the morning. There is also an extensive exhibition area where companies and NGOs seek support for their policy priorities or products. Exhibitors this year ranged from Google to a group encouraging more walking.

Given the current opinion polling, it looks likely that Labour will be heading into government when the next election is called, and much of the conversation Crustacean Compassion had in Liverpool this week was around how a future Labour administration would enhance legal protections for decapods, following the legal recognition of their sentience in last year.

At the ‘Animals Matter’ exhibition stand.

We spoke to MPs, shadow ministers and parliamentary candidates for the upcoming election, seeking support for our General Election asks and continuing to build relationships for the future. We also caught up with our friends from the Better Deal for Animals coalition and Labour Animal Welfare Society (LAWS). During the Conference LAWS launched its own manifesto, which includes a call to extend the Animal Welfare Act to decapod crustaceans.

We raised the issue of further legal protections for decapod crustaceans at fringe meetings with animal welfare groups and meetings focusing on the future of the oceans and food supply.

With LAWS at their stall in the Conference Exhibition.

We’ll continue to push for commitments to improve the welfare of decapod crustaceans across all political parties in the lead up to the General Election. We’ll also be asking for your help to make sure the voice of these animals is heard in your constituencies, so stay tuned to our social media channels and website.

In the meantime, please add your name to our petition calling on the government to include decapod crustaceans in the Animal Welfare Act. Thank you.


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