19 November 2021
Welcoming the announcement of a government amendment to the Animal Sentience Bill today that recognises the sentience of octopuses, crabs and lobsters
Richard Benwell, CEO of Wildlife and Countryside Link, said:
“Anyone who has watched ‘My Octopus Teacher’ or seen these amazing creatures in the wild will appreciate their intelligence. Now the science of sentience is clear that animals like octopuses, crabs and lobsters also have the capacity to experience joy, pleasure, pain and fear, so it’s very positive that Government has listened to the evidence and agreed to recognise their sentience in law.
“Alongside reassurances about the resourcing and independence of the Animal Sentience Committee, these changes leave the Animal Sentience Bill in a much better shape as it enters its final stages.”
Notes to Editors:
• The Government amendment follows the publication of a long-awaited LSE report into the sentience of cephalopods (including octopuses) and decapod crustaceans (including lobsters and crabs).
• Link’s latest briefing on the Animal Sentience Bill, from its committee stage in July, makes the case for the inclusion of cephalopods and decapod crustaceans and for an independent and sufficiently resourced Animal Sentience Committee. The briefing can be found here.
• Link coordinates Better Deal for Animals, a coalition of 50 animal protection groups in the UK, who have joined forces to campaign for a strong law that recognises animal sentience.
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