Crustacean Compassion is an award-winning animal welfare organisation dedicated to the humane treatment of decapod crustaceans. We are a group of animal welfare professionals who are shocked by the inhumane treatment of crabs, lobsters, prawns and crayfish, particularly in the food industry, given what is now known about their sentience. We founded the organisation when we heard that crabs were being sold alive fully immobilised in shrinkwrap in UK supermarkets; and that the RSPCA were powerless to act as the animals were not covered by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Now 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. Furthermore, we do not campaign against the use of decapod crustaceans as food. We welcome good practice in the food industry and merely believe that all sentient creatures deserve humane treatment, determined by the needs of their species. The sentience of any animal can never be 100% conclusively proven, but where doubt still exists alongside strong positive evidence, we believe that the benefit of the doubt should apply and simple measures should be taken to ensure that no animal suffers needlessly for our plates.
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; a grant from the Centre for Effective Altruism, and the RSPCA Campaigner Award 2019
Maisie Tomlinson - Co-founder
Maisie is the co-founder of Crustacean Compassion. She has previously worked as a campaigner at Save The Asian Elephants (STAE) and World Animal Protection, where she co-coordinated the EU Supporting Better Dairy campaign in coalition with Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream and Compassion in World Farming. She is currently a doctoral researcher in the sociology of human-animal relations at the University of Manchester, looking at different understandings of animal subjectivity (mind) and the human-animal relationship between different schools of thought in animal behaviour expertise. Her research explores horse and herd behaviour as taught through Equine Assisted Personal Development and the use of Qualitative Behavioural Analysis in to assess the welfare of laboratory mice.
Juliette Booker – Co-founder
Juliette is also the co-founder of Crustacean Compassion. Working in the NGO sector, she is passionate about animal welfare, tackling injustice and supporting those in need. She has worked for animal welfare organisations Brooke and World Animal Protection, environmental charity Fauna & Flora International, health charity Macmillan Cancer Support, and international development organisations Comic Relief and British Red Cross. In her spare time she has previously volunteered with the RSPCA where she helped to run one of their small animal clinics, Mission Rabies where she took part in a vaccination drive in India, and Animal Equality where she assisted with their iAnimal virtual reality technology public outreach work that provides an immersive view into life inside intensive farming systems. She was also previously a trustee for Change For Animals Foundation.
Gemma is an animal welfare and behaviour scientist. She has over 8 years’ experience of managing research projects for international animal welfare NGOs. This has involved leading and developing scientific studies on a range of domestic and wild animal welfare issues. Gemma has expertise and knowledge on the behaviour and welfare of a range of different animals. Her research experience includes exploring the effects that visitors have on captive gorillas, investigating ways of measuring emotional states in dairy cows, and the exploration into the behaviour and welfare of sloths when used in the tourism industry. Gemma believes that all sentient animals, regardless of how different they behave and look compared to us, deserve our respect, consideration and legal protection. She is currently a research advisor for a global equine welfare NGO and supports Crustacean Compassion with building the evidence base for the campaign.
Ann is working at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home as an Intake Coordinator after finishing her Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law MSc at Glasgow University. During this course she conducted research investigating intramammary infections in dairy cows. While in Scotland, she started the Compassion in World Farming local volunteer group for Glasgow. In the past, she has interned at PETA and spoken at the International Animal Rights Conference in Luxembourg.
Claire has 15 years’ experience working for both UK and International animal welfare NGOs and is currently a freelance consultant, as well as a trustee at Gloucestershire Animal Welfare Association and Cheltenham Animal Shelter. Claire has used her expertise in investigative research, strategic analysis and stakeholder engagement in successful and diverse campaigns including inhumane culling of dogs, wildlife trade, wildlife as entertainment, farmed animals and disaster management. She also has experience in supporting the capacity development of NGOs, a strong background in working with companion animals and a thorough academic grounding in Zoology.
Having witnessed first hand the cruel process of crabs, lobsters and other sea creatures being boiled alive, Emma decided to volunteer in raising awareness and educating people in her local area regarding this unnecessary suffering. She managed to gain an incredible 2,300 signatures for Crustacean Compassion through hard work and persistence, sharing her compassion and knowledge with her community. Emma is a firm supporter of animal welfare, a member of Compassion in World Farming, and has also campaigned extensively for the banning of foie gras.