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Close up of a small hermit crab in a white shell on a white sand beach

Who We Are

Crustacean Compassion is an award-winning animal welfare organisation dedicated to the humane treatment of animals like crabs, lobsters & prawns (decapod crustaceans). We engage with legislators and policy makers to strengthen and enforce animal welfare law and policy; we work to persuade and enable companies to sell higher welfare products across their shellfish product ranges; and we seek to educate both the public and policy makers on the science of decapod crustacean sentience and on their humane treatment and care.

Our work is grounded in scientific evidence. We do not campaign against the use of decapod crustaceans as food. We welcome good practice in the food industry and believe that all sentient creatures deserve humane treatment, determined by the needs of their species.

Our history

2016: Inspired by news of live crabs being sold shrink wrapped in a London shop, Crustacean Compassion began as a voluntary organisation. 

2017: An open letter calling on the Secretary of State to include decapod crustaceans in animal welfare legislation is signed by over 55 experts

2018: Our public petition to DEFRA is signed by over 40,000 people. We deliver this petition to Secretary of State, Michael Gove, along with a 3ft tall Valentines Day card asking him to “show lobsters some love!”

2019: Crustacean Compassion awarded the RSPCA Campaigner Award

2020: DEFRA commissions the London School of Economics to conduct a review of the evidence of sentience in decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs

2021: Following publication of the LSE report, the government proposes an amendment to the Sentience Bill in the House of Lords, recognising decapods as sentient and passing with cross-party political support 

Crustacean Compassion becomes a member of Eurogroup for Animals 

2022: The Animal Welfare (Sentience) Act 2022 completes its passage through Parliament and receives royal assent. 

Crustacean Compassion begins a new stream of work to engage and advise the food industry on incorporating decapod crustacean welfare in their policies and management practices. 

2023: Crustacean Compassion launches The Snapshot, the world’s first industry benchmark on decapod welfare.

We co-host a workshop with London School of Economics to bring together policymakers and researchers,      discussing the use of decapod crustaceans in scientific procedures 

Our comprehensive new report, Sea-to-Plate: The Welfare Journey of Decapod Crustaceans, is published 

Our Partners and Awards

  • Crustacean Compassion is grateful to be able to draw upon the legal expertise of the  lawyers at the UK Centre for Animal Law.

  • We are the proud recipients of a Sheila McKechnie award supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, and the RSPCA Campaigner Award 2019.

  • The work we're doing is possible thanks to grants from the Centre for Effective Altruism and the Open Philanthropy Project.

  • We are part of the Better Deal for Animals movement. BDFA is formed of 50 leading UK animal welfare groups that are campaigning for stronger law that recognises animals as sentient and ensures their protection post-Brexit.

  • We are also pleased to be one of the 70 organisations that make up the Eurogroup for Animals. The Eurogroup for Animals unites animal welfare organisations across Europe so that we can make positive changes for animals at an EU level.

UK Centre for Animal Law's logo
Sheila McKechnie Foundation's logo.gif
RSPCA's logo.png
Eurogroup for Animals' logo.png
Aquatic Animal Alliance's logo.png
Centre for Effective Altruism's logo
Open Philanthropy Project's logo.jpg
Collection of animal welfare orgnisation's logos as part of the Better Deal For Animals coalition
Yellow Fiddler crab stands in shallow water on a beach

Interested in joining the team? Check out our job vacancies.

Three American lobsters sit on the wooden slats of a pier with their claws bounded by red, yellow and blue bands.jpg

Learn about what’s happening in our campaign right now, and what we’ve achieved in the past. 

Crab stands in the shallow water of a beach which both claws raised slighty

You can contact us via email, social media, phone, or post.

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