Review of evidence for sentience in decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs

Type of funding: Review

Defra are looking for suppliers to undertake a review of peer reviewed evidence on a) the basic science underpinning sentience and b) the welfare implications of commercial practices throughout the supply chain for the most commercially relevant species of decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs in the United Kingdom.

The project aims and objectives are:
1. Review of peer reviewed evidence on a) the basic science underpinning sentience and b) the welfare implications of commercial practices throughout the supply chain for the most commercially relevant species of decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs in the United Kingdom.
The Animal Welfare Committee (AWC, formerly the Farm Animal Welfare Committee) has defined sentience as “the capability to experience pain, distress and harm”, and advised that the Government should safeguard animals from negative experiences and advocate for positive experiences. Defra envisages the Tenderer will test evidence against AWC’s definition of sentience for each of the animal groups in scope.

2. Evaluation of current commercial practices involving decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs.
A project funded by Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) will be running in parallel to characterise the relevant sectors and explore which commercial practices would be affected by any changes in legislation or industry guidance.
For this objective we expect the Seafish project team to meet with the successful Tendering team from this project to discuss and understand which are the key commercial practices in the supply chain (catching, transport, processing and slaughter) for decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs currently used in the UK. This could also inform literature searches for Objective 1b.
We expect this to form an additional section in the final report that considers the scale of certain practices in the UK and to identify where there are evidence gaps in the peer reviewed literature on the welfare implications of those practices.
3. Stakeholder engagement
The project will involve the successful Tenderer engaging with the full range of stakeholders, including the fishing / processing, retail, catering and leisure industries, academics and animal welfare and other non-governmental organisations. This objective should be structured as follows:
a. At the start of the project we expect all stakeholders to be given the opportunity to refer to or submit any relevant evidence they may hold. This may be done via an online survey. A meeting should be scheduled at the start of the project with stakeholders in London to introduce the project objectives and encourage participation in this. Defra will arrange a meeting room in London and send invitations to relevant stakeholders.
b. The successful Tendering project team will present findings from Objectives 1 and 2 to key stakeholders and policy colleagues at a workshop which will be organised by Defra and facilitated at Defra offices or another location in London. The successful project team will be expected to respond to question

Deadline: 03/04/2020

Eligibility criteria:

None stated.

Documents can be downloaded from the Defra Bravo platform or contact us and we will forward them on to you.

Further information can be found here.