Switzerland rules lobsters must be stunned before they are boiled

Adjust Comment Print

The new Swiss law says that lobsters "will now have to be stunned before they are put to death".

In case you were wondering, the inhumane practice of boiling lobsters while they're still alive is typically done to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying quickly once a lobster dies.

The Swiss government ordered a ban on the boiling of live lobsters as part of efforts to reform its animal welfare laws.

In the United Kingdom, such decapods are not classed as "animals" and therefore aren't covered by the Animal Welfare Act, so may be killed in the vengeful manner of your choosing.

"The practice of plunging live lobsters into boiling water, which is common in restaurants, is no longer permitted", the government order stated.

The order is expected to go into effect on March 1.

Stunning a lobster before killing it is an effective way to make sure the animal does not feel any pain, Robert Elwood, a Queen's University Belfast professor told Newsweek. According to the new law, "live crustaceans, including the lobster, may no longer be transported on ice or in ice water", reported euronews, a news media service in France.

(MRK) EPS Estimated At $0.94; Orbcomm (ORBC) Has 1.31 Sentiment
It dived, as 55 investors sold PNC shares while 364 reduced holdings. 92 funds opened positions while 249 raised stakes. Finally, Harbour Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc.in the 1st quarter valued at $127,000.

Some scientists argue that lobsters can feel pain, but the scientific community is divided on this.


The new law also bans the use of automatic devices that punish dogs for barking.

A growing body of scientific evidence states that lobsters and other crustaceans like crabs or crayfish can actually feel pain, the BBC reports. Animal behavior researcher Robert Elwood doesn't agree.

Crustaceans may endure stress due to low oxygen levels and overcrowding in tanks when kept in confinement.

The professor also noted that while other animals have received protection from governments, the same can't be said for many sea creatures.

Elwood says that the most concerning thing are not home cooks or even restaurant kitchens, but large food processing plants where animals are generally dismembered without first killing them or rendering them unconscious.

A similar law, which ruled it's cruel to put lobsters on ice, was passed last June in Italy's highest court.