Switzerland Bans Live Boiling of Lobsters

The traditional method of cooking lobsters is to boil them alive. In January, the Swiss Federal Council passed a law deeming this practice inhumane and requiring that lobsters and other crustaceans be stunned, rendering them insensible to pain, before being killed. The new law also prohibits transportation of crustaceans on ice or in ice water because it causes unnecessary suffering; they must now be transferred in their natural aquatic environment. The decision follows several studies suggesting that lobsters and other crustaceans can feel pain. Switzerland is the second country to outlaw boiling lobsters alive—New Zealand did so in 1999, and there is also a regional effort in Western Australia to ban the practice.

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