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Press Release Section Icon 10/8/2021

New York, NY (Oct. 8, 2021) – A new report released by leading farmed animal welfare charity, Compassion in World Farming, on World Octopus Day (October 8, 2021) reveals eight reasons why octopus factory farming is cruel, damaging to the planet, and must be stopped.

The report— “Octopus Factory Farming – A Recipe for Disaster” —reveals how plans to expand octopus factory farming would cause them to suffer greatly due to their solitary and inquisitive nature and exposes the lack of any approved humane slaughter method. In addition, there is currently no legislation to protect their welfare in farms and their carnivorous diet makes farming them unsustainable and damaging to the environment.

Wild-caught octopuses are consumed all over the world, especially in several Mediterranean countries in Europe, as well as in Asia and Mexico. In the United States, almost 30,000 metric tons of wild-caught octopus were consumed in 2018, even as wild octopus populations shrink, resulting in increasing pressure to develop a way to intensively farm octopuses. Spain has been conducting research into open-ocean net cages and tanks.

Marine Biologist Dr Elena Lara, Fish Research Manager at Compassion in World Farming and author of the report, explained: “The Netflix film, My Octopus Teacher, gave the world a moving glimpse into the lives of these unique, naturally solitary and fragile wild animals. People who watched it will be appalled to discover that there are plans to confine these fascinating, inquisitive, and sentient creatures in factory farms. Their lives would simply not be worth living.

"The word ‘octopus’ comes from the Greek ‘októpus’ meaning ‘eight foot’ so our report, launched today on World Octopus Day, reveals eight reasons why octopuses should not be factory farmed. It details the immense suffering it would cause, the lack of a humane slaughter method and the absence of any legislation to protect their welfare. What’s more, feeding fishmeal to these carnivorous wild animals in farms is unsustainable and would be further damaging to the environment.

"That’s why, today, we have sent our report and written letters to the governments in Spain, Japan, Mexico and the US urging them to prevent any further development of octopus farming."

Sy Montgomery, award-winning author of The Soul of an Octopus, added: “With so many other sources of cheap, healthy protein available to humans, there is no reason to subject sensitive, delicate, smart, and emotional octopuses to the misery of factory farming. As this report clearly points out, to do so would be pointlessly cruel and recklessly unsustainable."

For more information or to schedule an interview, please email Ronnika.McFall@ciwf.org.


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