UK authorities have expanded the list of animals that will be legally protected under the Animal Welfare Act. This decision is related to a recent publication by scientists from the London School of Economics and Political Science, who proved that creatures such as octopuses, crabs, and lobsters are capable of feeling pain.
The scientific analysis covered as many as 300 independent studies. Feeling ability is defined as the ability to experience feelings such as pain, pleasure, hunger, thirst, warmth, joy, comfort, and excitement.
The government's communiqué stated that the law "already defines all animals that have a backbone (vertebrates) as sentient beings. However, unlike some invertebrates (animals that do not have a backbone), crustaceans classified as tithiapods and cephalopods have a complex nervous system, which is considered one of the key traits in the context of emotional awareness.
Long before that, cooking live shellfish was made illegal in several countries, including Switzerland and New Zealand.