News Center interviews Steneck about UK lobster research, animal welfare legislation

Robert Steneck, a professor of oceanography, marine biology and marine policy at the University of Maine, spoke to News Center Maine about new research conducted to help craft animal welfare legislation for the United Kingdom. The legislation, if adopted into law, would grant protections to sentient animals. An investigation led by the London School of Economics determined that octopuses, crabs and lobsters are considered sentient. It’s kind of a “slippery slope,” Steneck said, if you “start making this assumption that lobsters are experiencing joy or pain. By some definitions, any reaction to stimulus is part of being sentient. And this law fundamentally is about whether lobsters are sentient, and I’m suggesting that all animals are sentient by that definition.”