UK Conservative MPs argue to protect octopus or lobster legally

UK marine life
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A group of Conservative MPs argue that octopus or lobster should be included in a law to protect animals. UK Conservative

According to BBC, The Animal Welfare Bill recognises animal sentience – which is the capacity of animals to have feelings, including pain and suffering.

It urges fish, and other vertebrates which feel pain, should be protected as much as possible.

However animals like lobsters and octopus are not currently protected by the bill because as invertebrates, their body is different to ours, so they aren’t thought to have those complex feelings, BBC reported, citing a report by the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF).

The arguments to disagree on recognising these species focus on physical differences between these animals and humans, but they don’t give any understanding what it means for an animal to have feelings.

The report says those species “undoubtedly experience the world in extremely different ways to ourselves,” but what matters is whether they feel pleasure and pain.

Animal scientists stress on the importance of animal in the ecosystem, and how much they help human beings to survive in life.

Marine biologist Emily Sullivan says “we should return the favour and help them.”

The-25- year old feels lots of invertebrates such as octopus, lobster, crabs, crayfish and cuttlefish should be recognised in the bill – which is currently in the House of Lords.

There are already regulations around using animals in scientific research, including octopus and squid – though not all species.

“The aim of that is to minimise pain, stress and suffering in research,” Emily says.

“I personally do think they can recognise and feel pain, so should be protected more.”

Emily feels it’s clear when they feel pain or suffering “because their behaviour changes a lot”.

“They become quite lethargic and their appetite changes. That’s true for a lot of the animals, including crabs and lobsters.”

Emily says including them in the bill will have a big impact on the animals themselves because “they aren’t really protected or regulated much”.

The new animal welfare legislation will mean any new government policy will have to take into account that vertebrate animals can experience feelings including pain or joy.

That will be decided by a committee made up of animal experts from within the field. UK Conservative

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Source: BBC
Image source: Getty Images-BBC