This is a difference in animal welfare between the UK and the USA which highlights an underlying difference in culture. American citizens need to read this and ask themselves some tough questions. I love America. Ninety-nine percent of it 🙂 . I hate cat declawing and the exploitation of the outdated 2nd Amendment.
You might not know it but crabs are declawed sometimes as a ‘sustainable’ way of fishing. Both claws of the crab are manually detached and the crab is then returned to the water. It’s a worldwide practice. It’s done because people believe that crabs can regenerate lost limbs.
It disregards the sentience of the animal. What about the pain? The emotional distress? This practice ignores it. Also, the process can be fatal and it clearly affects survival. That is ignored as well. Wikipedia calls it an ‘attractive practice’. I find that description objectionable. Someone needs to amend it and I might do it myself.
The UK is considering banning the declawing of crabs because a study has decided that decapods are sentient. Decapods includes crabs, lobsters and crayfish. The study also found that cephalopods such as squid and octopuses are sentient. Octopuses are intelligent. Sentience means that the animal has emotions and feels pain. Fish also feel pain, incidentally. Humankind ignores that too when they kill billions of them annually.
On this study, for centuries, humankind has been causing a pile of pain and distress to decapods and cephalopods in total ignorance of the animals’ sentience.
Declaring lobsters as sentient creatures means that restaurants won’t be able to boil them to death. It is about time too because it looks utterly barbaric. George Eustice, the Environment Secretary is proposing to strengthen new animal welfare laws to include protection for the above-mentioned species of animal. He’s tabled amendments to the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill.
The amendments could lead to new codes of practice across the board. The study gathered evidence from 300 scientific papers and assessed the welfare implications of current commercial practices. It recommended changes to improve the treatment of crustaceans and molluscs. The study was carried out by researchers at the London School of Economics, UK.
I really don’t want to blow the trumpet of the UK legislators but this seems to be a process of thought which is well in advance of what we find in America in terms of animal welfare. And I don’t want to criticise America because it is a great country but their culture still hangs on to the acceptability of cat declawing. A big black mark on their copybook.
It is clearly unacceptable. It is clearly barbaric and a throwback to more ignorant times. And yet the esteemed veterinarians of that great country hang onto it. There have been some bans such as in New York state which was a wonderful event. And nine cities have banned it in America. In Canada there have been some substantial bans of declawing across large swathes of the country but it is still legal at a federal level.
North American legislators are chipping away at cat declawing on their continent at city and state level. However, it would be far better if the federal government simply banned it at a stroke. It’s long overdue so why not get on with it? Let’s see a bit of courage and cultural advancement in the field of animal welfare.
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