Octopuses in the coastal state of Washington are now protected from being farmed and slaughtered for human consumption as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed HB 1153 into law.

Lady Freethinker was among the animal rights organizations that called on Washington to take steps to ban the inhumane aquaculture when octopus farming operations first began attempting to set up practices in the U.S.

There is no humane way to farm or slaughter octopuses. An existing commercial octopus farm company has reportedly planned to keep territorial octopuses in tanks where they could hurt each other and to kill octopuses at 6 months old by freezing them to death.

This new law will prevent countless marine animals from suffering in grotesquely unnatural conditions — where octopuses are at heightened risk of injury and stress. It also affirms Washington’s reputation as an ecologically-conscious state and sends the message that the “luxury” meat market is not welcome in the U.S. 

California and Hawaii have similar legislation pending that could protect octopuses from unnatural confinement and slaughter. Washington’s law goes into effect on June 6, 2024.

Octopuses are famously clever. They are known to play, solve puzzles, and are even capable of recognizing individual human faces. They are sentient animals who deserve to be free to explore their wild homes in the ocean.

Lady Freethinker celebrates this win for octopuses and applauds Washington legislators for passing critical protections for the sensitive marine animals. We also thank everyone who signed the petition to ban the cruel practice.