Petition launched to ban imports of octopus farming Aside from ethical issues, the farm poses threats to fish stocks in order to provide feed - Media Credit: Andrea Izzotti

Octopus Farming: UK Must Ban Imports Amid Intensive Plans, Warn Campaigners

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2 Minutes Read

Octopus farming should be banned, warned campaigners amid plans to launch the world’s first intensive octopus farm. Intensively farming the creatures is clearly cruel and a recipe for disaster, so a petition has been launched to urge the UK government to ban imports.

“This is the UK’s chance to prevent powerful, damaging, and unethical supply chains evolving,” the call reads.

Petition launched to protect octopuses

Verify Humanity is behind the petition. The organization aims to end speciesism and make animal welfare a global priority.

“With the opening of the world’s first octopus farm announced shortly after it was declared that the species are sentient creatures, this can only be described as an environmental and welfare travesty,” the group told PBN.

While policymakers have recognized octopuses as being sentient, meaning they can experience emotions, the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill which has not yet become law.

Octopus farming

Last year, it was uncovered that Spanish firm Nueva Pescanova Group planned to open an aquaculture facility to start farming octopuses. This caused uproar among campaigners as the company was tight-lipped on how the creatures would be kept, with fears it would become a factory farming structure of the sea.

According to Verify Humanity, the British government needs to “think ahead” and ban imports of farmed octopuses before farming commences.

It comes amid soaring research into octopuses, which are “remarkably intelligent” and territorial creatures. According to London School of Economics researchers, ensuring high welfare when farming the animals is “impossible.” 

Moreover, as Verify Humanity stresses, octopus aquaculture creates other risks. Namely, it also “threatens to create unsustainable food sources by plundering oceans for octopus food.”

You can sign the petition here

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The Author

Emily Baker

Emily is a journalist based in Devon, where she reports on issues affecting local people from politics to the environment. She has also written features on feminism for Polyester Magazine.

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