5-speed listening (Lobsters and Pain - Level 3)

Lobsters, octopuses and crabs feel pain says U.K.



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Chefs in the United Kingdom may soon have to change their cooking methods. They will no longer be able to boil seafood alive. The U.K. government is looking at research that accepts that sea life like lobsters, octopuses and crabs feel pain. The studies could change how people treat and kill these creatures. The research is part of the UK's Animal Welfare Bill. This recognizes that all animals with a spine are "sentient beings". Being "sentient" means being able to feel things like pain, distress and joy. Researchers at the London School of Economics (LSE) looked at 300 different studies to reach their conclusion that octopuses, squid, cuttlefish, crabs, lobsters and crayfish have feelings.

Dr Jonathan Birch, a professor at the LSE and a researcher on the Foundations of Animal Sentience Project, commented on the research. He said some sea creatures experienced pain and had feelings more than others. He said the research showed strong evidence that octopuses and lobsters are sentient. He said the new law means the fishing, retail and restaurant industries must change the way they treat and kill these creatures. This means the end of inhumane practices like boiling lobsters alive. He also said people should now be trained so they know how to kill these animals humanely. The UK government said it has "some of the strongest protections in the world" for animals.

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