Switzerland rules lobsters must be stunned before they are boiled


People in Switzerland who fancy a bit of lobster for their tea will now have to find a better way of killing and cooking the things, as the government has passed a law that bans the throwing of the creatures into pans of boiling water while they're still alive. 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. Although odd, the new law, which will come into effect beginning on the 1 of March, is based on a new scientific study, according to which any lobster can feel a tremendous amount of pain while being boiled alive. "We give protection to birds and mammals, now we give very little protection to decapod crustaceans - lobsters and crabs", Elwood said.

"If stunned electrically or if the brain is destroyed mechanically, they are effectively dead". The new law comes after an abundance of evidence has shown that lobsters, crabs, prawns and other invertebrates feel pain. The crabs always left the shelter with the shocks.

The scientist says he is pleased governments are considering this data and making changes accordingly.

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The new animal protection law requires that the animals are knocked out before being cooked. Now the Swiss government has made the culinary tradition illegal, requiring that lobsters be either rendered unconscious or quickly killed before being placed in a pot of boiling water. 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.

Furthermore, the study also revealed that crustaceans possess a highly sophisticated nervous system, which is the reason why Swiss authorities have ruled this killing method as being cruel.

Elwood hopes to discourage the practice of not only boiling but also dismembering while the animal is alive.


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