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What does the General Election mean for Crustacean Compassion?

When a very wet Rishi Sunak announced that Britain will go to the polls for the fourth time in less than a decade on 04 July 2024, it took most of the political world by surprise. The Westminster rumour mill had appeared settled on an election much later in the year – but now there are just six weeks before we all have the chance to choose our next MP and no matter what the outcome, it will inevitably be a very different House of Commons.

Image with many logos from animal welfare companies with slogan with crack down on cruelty

The speed with which the election will be held means that nearly all campaigning work will be placed on hold – with parliament closing (being prorogued) on Friday 24 May and the civil servants we work with severely limited in what they can do during the campaign. We had hoped that prior to the election we would have seen progress on increasing the legal protections for decapods more than two years after they were recognised as sentient in UK law.

Crustacean Compassion has been planning for the General Election for months. Along with our friends at other animal welfare organisations we were in London on Tuesday to hear representatives from the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Green parties. There is widespread recognition that animal welfare matters greatly to the UK public, with MPs of all parties acknowledging that it is one of the topics which fills their email inboxes most often. 

As part of the Animals Matter initiative, we are supporting the ten campaign proposals which the broader animal protection movement in the UK is putting forward for the election. These proposals include ending the live sale of animals for food, amongst tackling many other worthy issues. We will be able to share more on this initiative in the coming days.

In addition to this we will also be asking candidates and parties to support decapods in parliament.

These are:

  • Including decapods in the Animal Welfare Act 2006 – decapods and cephalopods are currently the only sentient animals not included, meaning there is no duty of care for humans dealing with them

  • Protection during scientific research with inclusion in the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 – meaning experiments on decapods would need to be justified and held to the same standards as those involving other animals

  • Banning the live sale of decapod crustaceans as food to the public – meaning that members of the public could no longer buy these animals to kill at home without proper training

  • Ensuring decapod Codes of Practice have high welfare standards – protecting animals which are caught from the sea

  • Ending the live export of decapods – where animals are often transported in stressful conditions for long periods of time


In the weeks prior to the election, we’ll be contacting all the candidates to ask them to support these pledges, but we will need your help. Watch out for updates on our social media channels and website for how you can help us reach as many candidates as possible and make sure that decapods have the strongest possible voice in the new parliament.

If you don’t already, please follow us on X @crab_welfare


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