octopuses and lobsters experience pain and suffering

AGI – Octopuses, crabs and lobsters are able to feel pain and suffering, proving to have a certain degree of sensitivity on a par with other living beings protected by law. To reach this conclusion are experts from the renowned London School of Economics who have crossed 300 scientific studies focusing on the degree of perception of cephalopods (such as octopuses, squid and cuttlefish) and decapods (such as crabs, lobsters and crayfish).

In light of this report commissioned by the UK government, in the UK cephalopods and decapods will then be included in the ranking of sentient animals and new welfare legislation currently under discussion in the UK.

The science is now clear that decapods and cephalopods can experience pain and therefore it is right that they are protected by this fundamental piece of legislation, “said the minister of animal welfare Lord Zac Goldsmith.

In concrete terms, the research from the London School of Economics points out, it means that lobsters and crabs should not be boiled alive. In addition, best practices should be adopted for the transport, stunning and slaughter of decapods and cephalopods.

The report used eight different ways to measure sensitivity, including the ability to learn, possessing pain receptors, the connections between pain receptors and certain regions of the brain, the response to anesthetics or analgesics, and behaviors including balancing the threat with the opportunity for reward and protection against injury or threats.

“Very strong” evidence of sentience and “strong” evidence in most crabs have been found in octopods. For other animals in these two groups, such as squid, cuttlefish and lobster, the scholars found evidence “substantial but not strong”.

The recent Netflix documentary “My Octopus Teacher” showed the unique abilities of octopuses. The brain structure of octopuses is very different from that of humans, but it has some of the same functions as mammalian brains, such as learning skills, including the ability to solve problems and perhaps even the ability to dream.

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