Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Switzerland just made it illegal to boil live lobsters

Switzerland just made it illegal to boil live lobsters

While lobster will continue to be served on menus and in grocery stores throughout the country, Elwood hopes that chefs will employ more humane methods.

But crustaceans have decentralized nervous systems, meaning it takes more than one blow to the head to stun them, unlike fish.

Switzerland has initiated a law which calls for a more humane way to cook lobster.

Italy recently passed a similar law saying that restaurants are not allowed to keep live lobsters on ice before boiling them.

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 Swiss government order also said that lobsters are no longer permitted to be transported in icy water, and should instead always be handled "in their natural environment". Nearly all recipes instruct to plunge still-living lobsters head-first into boiling water before continuing with dressings or such. Elwood has studied crustaceans for decades and has explored whether the animals do in fact feel pain-a belief that's often debated. Illegal puppy farms in Switzerland will also be apprehended.

"Crabs and lobsters deserve protection from being cooked alive", says Dr. John Birch, an assistant Philosophy professor at the London School of Economics.

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

At Queen's University in Belfast, scientists found that crabs gave up important hiding place after repeatedly being given electric shocks in that particular location.

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.

"Assessing pain is hard, even with humans", Elwood said, according to the journal Nature's news blog.

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

The group that is known for its active campaign to stop cruelty against animals also took a swipe at the USA government for not enacting laws to protect crustaceans.

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