Swiss government rules for lobsters to be 'stunned' before being boiled

1_11_lobster

Nearly all recipes instruct to plunge still-living lobsters head-first into boiling water before continuing with dressings or such.

While there is no absolute proof that lobsters can feel pain, constant experiments ran by scientists indicate an idea of pain in lobsters and similar animals.

Crabs and lobsters deserve protection from being cooked alive.

Switzerland has just put a ban on boiling lobsters while they're still alive and it's a decision a lot of people can definitely get behind.

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 Jonathan Birch, assistant professor in philosophy at the London School of Economics, animal welfare scientists define pain as "an aversive sensation and feeling associated with actual or potential tissue damage".

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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 new law, which will come into effect starting March 2018, will also require a more humane mode of transportation when moving the lobsters from their natural habitat in the ocean to grocery stores and restaurants.

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

But crustaceans have decentralized nervous systems, meaning it takes more than one blow to the head to stun them, unlike fish. Elwood has studied crustaceans for decades and has explored whether the animals do in fact feel pain-a belief that's often debated. The crabs always left the shelter with the shocks.

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

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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