Swiss cooks ordered to stun lobsters before boiling them


Switzerland's government has barred the culinary practice of throwing lobsters into boiling hot water while they are alive, The Guardian reported.

Lobsters "will now have to be stunned before they are put to death", the government order read. Nearly all recipes instruct to plunge still-living lobsters head-first into boiling water before continuing with dressings or such.

In the United Kingdom, such decapods are not classed as "animals" and therefore aren't covered by the Animal Welfare Act, so may be killed in the vengeful manner of your choosing.

The new animal protection law requires that the animals are knocked out before being cooked.

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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". According to Swiss cabinet officials, animals are sentient and therefore, must not be allowed to suffer unnecessarily. Illegal puppy farms in Switzerland will also be apprehended. "We give protection to birds and mammals, now we give very little protection to decapod crustaceans - lobsters and crabs", Elwood said. This indicates that crustaceans manifest rapid avoidance learning to keep away from certain stimuli such as pain.

Some scientists argue that lobsters can actually feel pain, but the scientific community is divided on this. The Lobster Institute in ME argues that the lobster's central nervous system is primitive and insect-like, so they can react to stimuli but don't actually have the brain power to process pain.

Crustaceans may endure stress due to low oxygen levels and overcrowding in tanks when kept in confinement. It said the best way to help animals is to avoid eating them.

Neighbouring Italy's highest court ruled in June that lobsters must not be kept on ice in restaurants - because it causes them unnecessary and unjustifiable suffering before they head for the dining rooms of upmarket restaurants.