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Commentary Type

Open Commentary


Andrew Crump, Heather Browning, Alex Schnell, Charlotte Burn, and Jonathan Birch, Sentience in decapod crustaceans: A general framework and review of the evidence


Crump et al. define eight criteria indicating sentience in animals, with a focus on pain. Here, we point out the risk of false negative or false positive diagnoses of pain. Criteria of different levels of inclusivity are useful for using the precautionary principle in animal welfare considerations, and for more formal scientific evidence of pain. We suggest tightening the criteria -- from more general evidence of sentience to pain alone -- because crucial evidence for animal welfare decisions might otherwise be missed for animals subjected to invasive and injurious procedures.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Author Biography

Matilda Gibbons, doctoral candidate at Queen Mary University of London, examines the neurobiology and behavioural responses of bees to determine whether invertebrates have pain experiences. Website

Lars Chittka is a Professor of Sensory and Behavioural Ecology at Queen Mary University of London and author of the book The Mind of a Bee (Princeton University Press). He researches the sensory, behavioural and cognitive processes of bees, and their neuro-computational underpinnings. Website