Boiling lobsters alive to be banned under new Government legislation
Cooking lobsters by boiling them alive could be banned under animal welfare plans being drawn up by Government ministers.
But the House is making amendments to the legislation which would mean crabs, lobsters, octopuses, squid and other invertebrates are recognised as sentient beings capable of feeling pain.
It would give them legal protections and stop fishmongers and chefs boiling crustaceans alive. Instead they would have be stunned or chilled before boiling which is believed to be a more humane way of cooking.
Shrink-wrapping live shellfish or posting them is also likely to be banned under the amendment, put forward by Baroness Hayman of Ullock.
Lobsters’ feelings loom large as British Parliament debates animal welfare bill
July 4, 2021 at 9:28 p.m. UTC
LONDON — How does a lobster feel when it’s dropped into the boiling pot? The British Parliament wants to know.
Is an octopus sad, sometimes? Does the squid learn its lessons? The bee feel joy? The earthworm anxiety? The peers in the House of Lords are currently debating the matter.
These questions arise because Prime Minister Boris Johnson is trying to make good on his electoral pledge to enshrine into law the idea that animals are “sentient beings,” meaning the government would be obligated to not only safeguard creatures’ physical well-being but also take into account their feelings — of pleasure, pain and more.
The Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill is a potentially sweeping piece of legislation that could require all arms of government — not just the agriculture ministry — to consider animal sentience when forming policy and writing regulations. The implications could be moral and profound, supporters hope — or cumbersome and bureaucratic, critics say, with some seeing a power play by vegan activists and animal rights radicals.
The bill does appear to go further than European Union protections, once seen as the most comprehensive on Earth, and far beyond the relatively lax laws in the United States.
What is sentience? As Charles Darwin suggested 150 years ago, it may be the ability to feel “pleasure and pain, happiness and misery.”
In the House of Lords, the peers wondered aloud whether they were not touching on questions of the soul.
“The big picture has changed,” said Donald Broom, a Cambridge University authority on animal welfare.
“I think of the new idea as ‘one biology.’ That human animals and other animals are extraordinarily similar,” he said, “and that sentient animals are individuals who feel pain and suffering and all sorts of other things, and that should be taken into account.”
Broom said he was “not against eating or exploiting animals, but we should think about them as individuals.”
He said the scientific study of animal cognition, consciousness and sentience has galloped forward in recent years and that abilities once thought unique to humans have also been discovered in nonhuman animals, including tool use, language, sense of time and the future, deception, empathy and altruism.
The bill now being debated is unprecedented in scope because it seeks to protect wildlife as well as domesticated and companion animals such as cows and chickens, dogs and cats.
Positive News about time;
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