Animal Aid

Crustaceans feel anxiety

Posted 13 June 2014

New research – in which crayfish were stressed using mild electric shocks – indicates that the species experiences anxiety. This adds to a growing body of evidence that decapod crustaceans (lobsters, crabs, prawns and crayfish) experience pain and fear and, Animal Aid argues, should therefore be protected by the Animal Welfare Act.

Currently, the Act offers protection only to vertebrates. It does allow, however, the appropriate national authority to make regulations to extend the Act to include ‘invertebrates of any description’ if it is satisfied on the basis of scientific evidence that the animals concerned are ‘capable of experiencing pain’. We believe that the case for decapod crustaceans being both capable of feeling pain and actually experiencing pain is convincing.

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