Swiss ban boiling lobsters alive

Swiss ban boiling lobsters alive

Switzerland has always been a progressive country when it comes to animal rights.

Here in the United Kingdom, live lobsters are being sold on Amazon.

A Swiss government spokeswoman said the law there was driven by the animal rights argument.

From March 1, as part of new government animal protection reforms, it will be illegal for chefs to throw live lobsters into the pot. Acceptable stunning methods under Swiss law include electric shock and the "mechanical destruction" of the lobster's brain (i.e. stabbing it in the head).

One possible device on the table? "Crustaceans must now be stunned before they are killed". Initially, researchers have concluded animals like lobsters and insects feel no pain thanks to simple nervous systems.

"Crustastun is a professional appliance for killing shellfish - compassionately and without suffering".

The announcement reignited a long-running debate: Can lobsters even feel pain?

Although the most common opinion held by researchers is that lobsters (and their hard-shell relatives) can not process pain, there is in fact a subgroup of scientists who vehemently disagree. Instead, the aquatic services company Pacific Edge claims the sound you hear is the sound of expanding air bubbles coming out of the shell as it cooks. The path most lobsters take to the dinner plate is supposedly so inhumane that Switzerland has banned boiling lobsters alive unless they are stunned first, The Guardian reports. The nervous system of a lobster is very primitive; in fact, it is most similar to the nervous system of an insect.

Robert Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute, told Business Insider, "Do you have the same concern when you kill a fly or a mosquito? Cooking a lobster is like cooking a big bug". According to the animal-rights group Viva, boiling alive lobsters is illicit in some places encompassing New Zealand and Reggio Emilia, a city in northern Italy. In addition, live crustaceans including lobster can not be transported on ice or in ice water, and they must always be kept in their natural environment, according to reports.

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