Switzerland rules lobsters must be stunned before they are boiled

Switzerland rules lobsters must be stunned before they are boiled

Which you could argue is ironic, considering nothing about landlocked Switzerland is "natural" for lobsters - but it's the new law either way.

The Swiss government has gone against the wishes of restaurateurs and banned the practice of boiling live lobsters. Robert Elwood, an ecology professor at Queen's University Belfast, has studied crustaceans for decades and has explored whether the animals do in fact feel pain-a belief that's often debated.

Organisers of public events featuring animals will also be directly responsible for their welfare when the new rules take effect, the government order said. Once the crustaceans are stunned, they can then be boiled pain-free.

Along with the new cooking methods, the Swiss law also outlines new guidelines on transporting the animals from the oceans to stove and ultimately, your dinner table.

The government does offer two acceptable ways to prepare your crustacean for its final demise: electric shock of some kind, or the "mechanical destruction" of its brain.

'Live crustaceans, including the lobster, may no longer be transported on ice or in ice water, ' the new rules stipulate.

The Swiss government's order follows a ruling by Italy's supreme court in June that outlawed restaurants from storing lobsters on ice, arguing the practice caused the animals unjustifiable suffering.

A host of other animal protection rules are included in the new regulations, including the banning of devices that punish dogs for barking, new rules on the size of pet cages and a decree that says guinea pigs, rabbits and chicks are no longer allowed to be put on display in zoos.

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