Octopuses are intelligent, they engage in often complex and emotional behaviors, and are undoubtedly an important part of our ecosystem. Yet millions of octopuses are killed for food each year – and the number is rising. In recent years, we have learned a lot about their surprising characteristics. Unfortunately, the animal farming industry has become interested in them too. Such as Nueva Pescanova, a Spanish business that has decided to invest €65 million in opening the first octopus farm in the world.
Current practices of slaughtering octopuses are extremely cruel. They are either boiled alive, clubbed in the head, suffocated or even frozen in ice. It is scientifically proven that octopuses have a capacity to feel pain, anxiety and boredom. They also tend to be aggressive towards each other in confined spaces. The octopus is a rare species insofar as it has remained free from farming.
Not only is Nueva Pescanova trying to find a way to slaughter millions of these creatures, but the company also intends to use NextGenerationEU funds for that. This financial instrument was created to support EU governments and businesses to recover from the pandemic. Cruel imprisonment and slaughter is not what these funds are meant for.
We, therefore, call on the European Commission to ban octopus farming and the sale of farmed octopus in the EU.