A British study confirms that lobsters, crabs and octopuses are sensitive to pain

A study commissioned by the British government confirms that lobsters, crabs and octopuses are sensitive to pain, and therefore recommends not cooking them alive before eating.

Boiling live lobsters may soon be banned in the UK. Octopuses, crabs and lobsters are able to feel pain and should no longer be cooked alive for consumption, according to a new study commissioned by the British government. This report, prepared by experts from the London School of Economics as part of the Animal Welfare Bill, analyzed 300 scientific studies to determine whether cephalopods (tentacles) and decapods (five-toothed toothed) should be classified as creatures. sensitive to pain.

The results showed that crabs, lobsters and octopuses were very sensitive to pain, so they should no longer be scalded alive. The details of the study found “very strong evidence” of the susceptibility of octopuses (octopuses and other octopuses) and “strong evidence” of the susceptibility of most crabs. As for squid, cuttlefish and other lobsters, the evidence of their susceptibility was considered “significant but not conclusive”.

The sensitivity of crustaceans was assessed

However, according to experts in the British study, the scientists behind the previous reports paid different attention to different species, which explains the differences in the results.

“Scientists are focusing on some animals, not others because of practical convenience,” the report said. “For this reason, we believe that it would be inappropriate to limit our recommendations to cephalopods.”

As part of this new study, the American channel CNN reports that British scientists measured the sensitivity of these animals in eight different ways: in particular, by measuring their ability to learn whether they have pain receptors, some of which are associated with the brain. They also assessed whether they had behaviors adapted to different situations, such as when faced with a threat, opportunity, or even reward.

Switzerland already has a law

Therefore, the report recommends a list of best practices to avoid suffering, in particular during transport, stunning or slaughter. In the UK, vertebrates, animals with spines, are already classified as living beings in animal welfare legislation. This new study aimed to update the national list of creatures considered intelligent and therefore be protected under new animal welfare legislation.

“It is now clear that crustaceans and mollusks can feel pain, so it is right that they are subject to this important law,” said Environment Minister Zach Goldsmith, the animal’s welfare minister.

As early as 2018, it is forbidden to cook lobsters in Switzerland, immersing them in broth without prior stunning. Crustaceans can no longer be transported on ice or frozen water, and must be kept in their “natural environment”. Irish study directed by Bob Elwood In 2013, a researcher and biologist at Queen’s University in Belfast suggested that crustaceans may be in pain after experimenting with the behavior of electric-powered crabs.

Jeanne Bulant BFMTV journalist

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