The people have spoken! On Wednesday 14th February we handed in your petition to Defra and we’re certain we gained their attention! As officials walked into work they were greeted by a giant Valentine’s Day card outside, calling on Defra to Show Lobsters Some Love and protect decapod crustaceans in animal welfare legislation. There was also a giant ‘chocolate box’ containing all 35,502 of your signatures. We’ve made a short video to thank you for your support which you can see here:
We were also joined on the day by two of the signatories from our open letter, veterinary professionals Dil Peeling and Martin Cooke, who made videos with messages for Michael Gove! You can see them here:
We also made a short film with some of the comments you posted when signing the petition to tweet at Defra:
Once again, thank you so much for your signatures, for sharing the petition, and for your support on social media. Crabs, lobsters and other decapod crustaceans used to be the forgotten animals in animal welfare. No longer!
Together, this is what we have achieved so far:
• We have shown that this issue is of public concern - 35,502 people want decapod crustaceans protected in UK animal welfare law
• We have shown that the experts agree - 56 eminent scientists, vets and lawyers, including the RSPCA and the British Veterinary Association, believe decapods can feel pain and should be protected in animal welfare law (www.crustaceancompassion.org.uk)
• We have shown that the animal welfare movement speaks with one voice - 41 animal welfare organisations think decapod crustaceans should be protected in animal welfare law (https://www.wcl.org.uk/docs/Link_A-Law_Brexit_Animal_Welfare_160118.compressed.pdf)
• We have also submitted our case to the Defra Consultation on the new proposed Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill 2018 (https://goo.gl/gDTx1d)), the best chance in more than a decade to get decapods protected in animal welfare law.
Now that we have made our case to the Defra consultation on the proposed Animal Welfare Bill 2018, we need to wait for their response. This will likely take a couple of months. In the meantime, we will follow the political process closely, continuing to make our voice heard where necessary.
What can you do?
The petition remains open – if significantly more people sign, we will resubmit the new number, so please do keep sharing it!
You can also keep the pressure up by writing to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org, politely asking him to include decapod crustaceans both in the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and in the proposed Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill 2018. Mention that:
• The AWA 2006 allows for the inclusion of invertebrates such as decapod crustaceans if satisfactory scientific evidence exists
• The scientific evidence now available shows that it is highly likely that decapod crustaceans can feel pain, and scientific experts agree as shown by the open letter (www.crustaceancompassion.org.uk)
• An edible crab boiled alive may take up to three minutes to die
• The government should use this current review of animal welfare legislation with the proposed Animal Welfare Bill 2018 to include decapod crustaceans under the legal definition of ‘animal’.
Thank you so much for your support; we’ll continue to keep you informed as the campaign progresses. Let’s hope 2018 is the year that decapod crustaceans finally get the long overdue legal protection they deserve in the UK.
Maisie, Juliette, Gemma, Joanna, Ann and Claire