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Sales of Decapod Crustaceans 

Live animals like crabs and lobsters (decapod crustaceans) are sold to the public in the UK every day. This involves them being slaughtered in the consumer’s home often without proper training or knowledge of how to kill them humanely.


There is legislation in place under The Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing Regulations 2015 which states that ‘No person may engage in the restraint, stunning or killing of an animal unless that person has the knowledge and skill necessary to perform those operations humanely and efficiently’ and decapods are protected under this law, but the live sales continue.  

Decapods feel pain 

Even though decapods are recognised as sentient and able to feel pain, joy, and suffering they are still being sold to untrained people to kill.
Even the Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB) whose job it should be to ensure the best welfare practices have abdicated responsibility, instead instructing people to look on the internet for tips on how to kill these animals.
If the Shellfish Association of Great Britain are unable to give clear and proper instructions on how to humanely kill these animals, then they shouldn’t be sold to the public.   

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Stop selling live decapods to the public 

Crustacean Compassion believes decapods must be stunned effectively, followed by mechanical killing, before they are cooked. These steps required for humane slaughter must be carried out by a trained professional, and so it is therefore not possible for an untrained consumer to humanely slaughter crabs and lobsters at home, without causing extreme suffering. Putting them in boiling water is one of the methods promoted online but it can take minutes for lobsters and crabs to die.  

In the recent benchmark report The Snapshot, which looked at the decapod welfare policies of major supermarkets, only M&S, the Co-op, Morrisons and Waitrose had made a firm commitment to not sell live decapods to the public or untrained handlers. We need all supermarkets in the UK to commit to the same policy.  


Recent polling we did with the public demonstrated that animal welfare policies are what makes a brand or retailer appear more ethical? Over 80% believe they should be able to trust their supermarket to have high welfare standards in place for ALL sentient animals, and over 50% say they don’t believe live sales should continue versus 33% who disagree.  


We are calling on Tesco, Sainsburys, Aldi, Lidl, Asda and Ocado to update their animal welfare policies for decapods and commit to Not Sell Live Decapods to the Public and you can help us. 


We are writing to the CEOs of the supermarkets to make that commitment and we are urging you to tweet them asking the same, especially if you shop with that supermarket.   

Take Action

You can contact them via X (Twitter) 

Tesco @Tesco  

Sainsburys @sainsburys 

Aldi @AldiUK 

Lidl @LidlGB 

Ocado @Ocado 

Asda @AsdaServiceTeam  


Please follow us @crab_welfare and retweet our messages.  

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Find out what is required for an animal to be considered able to feel pain, and how decapods meet these requirements.

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The online sale of live decapods is sadly not the only welfare issue facing these fascinating but vulnerable animals.

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