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

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

Following a similar law put in place earlier by the Italian government, the Swiss government is no longer allowing for lobsters to be transported on ice.

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.

Given that lobster stunners are a rather expensive and niche product, that leaves local chefs the chore of having to find and stab out the brain before cooking, and surely there's then the chance that the lobster's only wounded with the first cut and it's going to end up suffering for longer than if it was just boiled? The crustaceans "must now be stunned before they are put to death", The Guardian reports.

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.

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

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

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Research from Queen's University Belfast seems to back them up - a 2013 study on crabs discovered they're likely to feel pain. This indicate that crustaceans manifest rapid avoidance learning to keep away from certain stimuli such as pain.

A growing body of scientific evidence states that lobsters and other crustaceans like crabs or crayfish can actually feel pain, the BBC reports. Elwood has studied crustaceans for decades and has explored whether the animals do in fact feel pain-a belief that's often debated.

Animal welfare advocates praised the new law and said other countries should follow suit.

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

An Italian court ruled last June that lobsters can not be kept on ice in restaurant kitchens because it causes them undue suffering.

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