The UK (United Kingdom) in a positive move came up with the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill. It recognises animal sentience meaning the capacity of animals to have feelings, including pain and suffering. In this bill in the definition of ‘Animal’ includes all vertebrates excluding Homo sapiens but not included Invertebrates.
Currently, the bill is placed in House of Lords where discussion is going on at the second reading stage.
Talking about marine lives the bill proposed to give protection to fish, and other vertebrates which feel pain, and should be protected as it possible.
However, various marine lives not included in the ambit of this bill as theses are invertebrates and their body is different to ours and hence they have not feelings like us as report produced by Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF). In this category of marine lives include lobsters and octopus and currently not given protection under this bill.
Amid the bill is being discussed in House of Lords a group of Conservative MPs has said “Octopuses and lobsters have feelings and should be included in the animal sentience bill”. CAWF, which counts Carrie Johnson and the environment minister Lord Goldsmith has been meeting with the government on this issue asking to recognise sentience of invertebrates as well.
According to the MPs who are proposing inclusion of invertebrates under the sentience bill, “some invertebrates are extremely intelligent and should be included in the bill”. MPs including Sir David Amess and Sir Roger Gale, after producing a report on this issue, argues that these animals are discriminated against in legislation because their “neurological architecture differs from our own”. This report concludes the bill places these invertebrates outside the sentience because they process information outside the brain (as in ganglion), however this anthropocentric view failed to say about sentience of animals.
By – Team SLC