Protect crabs and lobsters from pain under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (England and Wales)

Protect crabs and lobsters from pain under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (England and Wales)

61,190 have signed. Let’s get to 75,000!
Petition to
George Eustice MP and Lord Zac Goldsmith (Defra Secretary of State and Defra Minister of State)

Why this petition matters

Animals like crabs, lobsters, prawns and crayfish (decapod crustaceans) face extreme pain and suffering every day. They are often torn apart and boiled alive. It is estimated that a brown crab boiled alive may remain conscious for up to three minutes [1], something which would be considered completely unacceptable in a vertebrate animal like a pig or chicken. Live crabs have even been found for sale packaged and bound tightly in plastic. 

This is particularly concerning in light of scientific evidence supporting that these animals are capable of experiencing pain and suffering [2]. The government commissioned an expert team of researchers to review whether these animals are capable of feeling pain. Having reviewed all available evidence, they concluded that decapods are sentient and urgently need protection [3]. 

Following this report, the government tabled an amendment to protect decapods under the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill, a new piece of post-Brexit legislation. Its role is to recognise the sentience of animals in UK law, carrying over a duty previously imposed by the EU to ensure the basis for animal protection. On Monday 6th December, this amendment was approved by the House of Lords, meaning decapods are officially part of the Sentience Bill! 

But the works not over yet. We need your continued support to ensure this bill becomes law and decapods finally receive the protection they need. 

Many countries already protect them, including New Zealand, Austria, Norway, Switzerland, some Australian states and territories. The UK was behind, but this is our chance to catch up! 

Find out more at and don’t forget to subscribe for updates. 

[1] Humane Stunning and Slaughter:
[2] You can find further information on the scientific evidence on our website:  

[3] The government commissioned LSE Report: 

61,190 have signed. Let’s get to 75,000!