Lobsters Have Feelings. Boiling crustaceans alive now illegal in Switzerland

by Melissa Lupo
13 January 2018

Starting in March 2018, it will be illegal to boil lobsters and other crustaceans alive, requiring they be humanely killed before their dinner debut.

Even if they do seem like giant, scary (albeit delicious) sea-spiders, these delicious decapods are deserving of compassion too.

The move comes after an law in Italy has made it illegal to keep crustaceans on ice in the kitchen and is a part of a bigger initiative to protect animal rights in Switzerland.

According to CNN, “Professor Robert Elwood, emeritus professor in ecology, evolution, behaviour and environmental economics at Queens University, Belfast…has conducted a series of experiments that suggest crustaceans are sentient and that boiling them alive is inhumane.”

Elwood remarks ‘With the data we know, it is highly likely that the animal will be in pain, we give protection to birds and mammals, currently we give very little protection to decapod crustaceans — lobsters and crabs — and the question comes, why is there this difference?”

Photo credit: RSPCA Australia

The traditional method used by seasoned chefs is to quickly end the creatures life by cutting directly through the head down through the body.

And with other options like the Crustastun, which won Time’s Best Invention in 2006, which stuns the animal and blocks the central nervous system, there is no need to cause undue stress and or pain.
For more information on the humane treatment of decapods, check out some guidelines from UK-based Crustacean Compassion.

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