decapod crustacean welfare report

Crustacean Compassion’s Snapshot report will reveal UK seafood companies’ performance on decapod crustacean welfare

Benchmark report will reveal UK seafood companies’ performance on decapod crustacean welfare

Crustacean Compassion’s Snapshot report will for the first time share scores achieved by 30 named companies – including major UK retailers – on the welfare of crabs, lobsters, prawns and nephrops in their supply chains.

Company scores will be published in The Snapshot 2023 report to encourage transparency about decapod crustacean welfare and highlight which companies are making progress on the issue, as well as areas where improvements are needed:

  • This benchmark is vital since decapod crustaceans were legally recognised as sentient with their inclusion in the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Act 2022.
  • The first Snapshot benchmark, released in January last year, anonymised scores to establish a baseline of information about the industry’s management and working practices.
  • The Snapshot 2023’s summary findings will be shared at a live, virtual launch event at 11.00am on Wednesday 17 January 2024. Registration is required at ciwhub.org.

The Snapshot: Industry Benchmark on Decapod Crustacean Welfare evaluates the welfare journey of decapods from capture or harvest through holding, handling, transportation, storage, and slaughter. It was commissioned in 2022 by the UK’s leading decapod welfare organisation Crustacean Compassion and carried out by Chronos Sustainability – the specialists behind the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW).

For the inaugural Snapshot 2022 report, released in January 2023, company scores were anonymised and companies were permitted to submit unpublished policy information for assessment. This year, company scores will be published for the first time, based exclusively on publicly available information.

Dr Ben Sturgeon, CEO of Crustacean Compassion, said:

“Since the publication of the first Snapshot report, there has been some significant work happening within the seafood industry – both by individual companies and trade organisations – to address the unnecessary suffering of decapods in our food supply chain. The Snapshot 2023 report will shed light on how companies are rising to the challenge of higher animal welfare standards for decapods.

“This year we expect the release of the new Codes of Practice currently being developed by industry bodies. We hope the Codes will provide leadership and vision for an industry that needs to catch up with land agriculture on its animal welfare policies. We are encouraged by leaders emerging on this issue but there is still clearly an urgent need for reform of inhumane working practices in the seafood industry.”

Summary findings of The Snapshot 2023: Industry Benchmark on Decapod Crustacean Welfare will be presented at a live launch event at 11am on Wednesday 17 January 2024 via Microsoft Teams. Hosted by Crustacean Compassion’s CEO, Dr Ben Sturgeon, and Corporate Engagement Advisor, Jane Bush, the presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.

The live webinar is exclusive to members of the Crustacean Industry Welfare Hub, a free, members-only online resource for seafood companies that want to improve decapod welfare standards in their operations. Membership is open to anyone working in the seafood industry or related fields. New members should apply here; existing members can access the event registration page from their member dashboard.

Ben added: “There is clear and compelling scientific evidence decapod crustaceans are sentient animals capable of feeling pain, yet despite existing legislation, industry interest and pressure from NGOs, there is currently little to no legal protection from inhumane practices.

“The Snapshot benchmark was developed as a tool to help define key welfare expectations for companies, to drive welfare improvements and to promote transparency in our seafood production system to help consumers make informed choices.”

 

Source: Press Release

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