Boiling lobsters alive dominated an act of cruelty in Switzerland

  • Boiling lobsters alive dominated an act of cruelty in Switzerland

Boiling lobsters alive dominated an act of cruelty in Switzerland

This traditional way of cooking lobsters is out, with the government now saying people have to stun the creatures first or properly kill them by the method of a knife to the brain through the back of their heads - or the part of their weird body that most resembles a head - before they're cooked. Such government orders are in response to the arguments of animal rights advocates and scientists who claim that crustaceans have advanced nervous systems and can likely feel pain.

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.

Boiling live lobsters is a common culinary practice in restaurants but chefs and restaurateurs in Switzerland are now required by law to follow a more humane way of cooking a lobster other than throwing it alive in a pot of boiling water.

Activists say that lobsters and other invertebrates should therefore be killed humanely, either by putting them in a state of unconsciousness or killing them immediately.

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

The scientific community can't actually agree on whether or not lobsters feel pain.

But Robert Elwood said that this is probably a false assumption.

Once the crustaceans are stunned, they can then be boiled pain-free.

He gave the crabs two different options for shelter: one that caused repeated shocks and another which didn't.

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

A similar law, which ruled it's cruel to put lobsters on ice, was passed last June in Italy's highest court. These experiments show that "rapid avoidance learning, and [crustaceans] giving up highly valuable resources to avoid certain noxious stimuli" are consistent with pain.

"Live crustaceans, including the lobster, may no longer be transported on ice or in ice water".

The Swiss laws also addresses a number of other animal rights issues, including puppy farms and devices that punish dogs for barking, according to Reuters.