Experiments on cuttlefish are cruel | Letter | Science


The recent experiments on cuttlefish (Cuttlefish given 3D glasses for test of how they judge distance, 9 January) are indefensible, curiosity-driven nonsense that benefit only the experimenters who make a living from them and from ignoring what we already know about awe-inspiring cuttlefish.

Supergluing Velcro to the delicate dorsal surface of the animals’ heads, withholding food for several days, forcing them to wear 3D glasses and subjecting them to video images to prove something we already knew about the species is not only unnecessary, but also cruel.

Cuttlefish and their cephalopod relatives, squid and octopuses, are highly intelligent, self-aware animals. And both squid and cuttlefish use complicated colour patterns and waves to communicate with potential mates and rival suitors. Sensitive marine animals should be left in peace in their natural ocean homes, not imprisoned to be used in farcical experiments.
Dr Julia Baines
Science policy adviser, Peta Foundation

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