UK set to ban barbaric boiling of live lobsters and octopus

Author: Molly Pickering

Read Time:   |  24th November 2021

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The UK government is set to ban boiling live lobsters, octopuses, and shrimp following a study deeming these beings as sentient and can experience pain


The UK will soon ban boiling live crustaceans such as lobsters, shrimp, and octopuses.

The proposed ban comes after a study has proven that these cephalopods and crustaceans can feel pain.

It is expected that UK Animal Welfare Bill will be updated to include lobsters and cephalopods as sentient beings, granting them ‘greater’ protection.

However, the government has released a statement to say the ban will not affect the restaurant or fishing industry.

Octopuses are known for being intelligent and experiencing emotions

Octopuses are known for being intelligent and experiencing emotions


UK lobster boiling ban

For years, animal welfare activists have demanded to ban boiling lobsters and other sea creatures.

Dubbed as “unnecessary torture”, lobsters that are boiled are known to experience immense suffering and writhe wildly while trying to escape the scalding water.

Research by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) found strong evidence that lobsters, shrimp, squid and octopuses all experience pain.

Animal Welfare Minister, Lord Zac Goldsmith, has said: “The Animal Welfare Sentience Bill provides a crucial assurance that animal well-being is rightly considered when developing new laws.

“The science is now clear that decapods and cephalopods can feel pain and therefore it is only right they are covered by this vital piece of legislation.”

Additionally, the report recommends declawing of crab claws and wholesale of live decapods and crustaceans to the untrained also be banned.

Instead, the reports recommended greater investment into more ‘humane’ killing practices of these beings, such as quick electrocution.

What happens next?

While we welcome this news, the UK government has assured the new ban will not affect the intensive fishing or restaurant industry.

In a statement, the government revealed: “Today’s announcement will not affect any existing legislation or industry practices such as fishing. There will be no direct impact on the shellfish catching or restaurant industry.

“Instead, it is designed to ensure animal welfare is well considered in future decision-making.”

To ensure animal welfare is prioritised, we recommend leaving all sea creatures and beings in the oceans and off dinners plates.

Ready to ditch fish?
Here are 14 vegan fish recipes that taste like the real thing!

Written by

Molly Pickering

Molly is the Digital Executive and former podcast host at Anthem's Vegan Food & Living, she also works across other titles including Women's Running and Classic Pop to create affiliate content for the website. Starting out as a Digital Marketing Apprentice at Vegan Food & Living in 2021, within 14 months Molly was shortlisted for ‘Best Editorial Assistant’ at the BSME Talent Awards 2022 and won the BCS Special Recognition award for Digital Marketing Apprentice of the Year in 2022

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