The Open Philanthropy Project recommended a grant of £1,999,137 ($2,528,678 at time of conversion) to the Humane Slaughter Association (HSA) to support research to improve the welfare of farmed fish, decapod crustaceans (crabs, lobsters), and/or coleoid cephalopods (cuttlefish, octopus, squid). This grant falls within Open Philanthropy's work on farm animal welfare.
According to the best estimates Open Philanthropy is aware of, fish account for about three quarters of all vertebrate farmed animals alive at any time. Despite this, Open Philanthropy is not aware of any major animal welfare groups that have campaigns focused on fish welfare, and therefore believe that it is important to start building this area of farm animal welfare advocacy and research. Over the past year, Open Philanthropy recommended three previous grants in the area of fish welfare: one to Eurogroup for Animals, one to Dyrevernalliansen, and one to the Albert Schweitzer Foundation.
This funding will allow HSA to seek proposals for research to improve the welfare of farmed fish, decapod crustaceans (crabs, lobsters), and/or coleoid cephalopods (cuttlefish, octopus, squid), and to translate related HSA publications. This work may take several years depending on the nature of the research applications received.
Lewis Bollard, Open Philanthropy's Program Officer for Farm Animal Welfare, is uncomfortable with the phrase “humane slaughter,” but recommends this grant to reduce avoidable suffering caused by current slaughter practices.