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Switzerland Lobster Law Bans Boiling Them Alive

Image: Switzerland Lobster Law Bans Boiling Them Alive
Switzerland's new law bans boiling lobsters alive. (Jörg Beuge/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 January 2018 03:51 PM

The government of Switzerland has banned boiling lobsters alive in a new law that will take effect in March.

The decision came in response to studies suggesting lobsters are sentient creatures whose advanced nervous systems may feel pain, CNN Travel reported. Lobsters in Switzerland will need to be made unconscious or killed instantly before they are boiled, according to the law.

Other provisions of the law also prohibit keeping lobsters in ice water or on ice when they are transported or stored in restaurant kitchens, CNN reported.

Italy also recently enacted a law against keeping lobsters on ice in restaurant kitchens. 

The scientist responsible for the research on whether lobsters can feel pain isn’t 100 percent sure they can, but feels the possibility is enough.

“There’s no absolute proof, but you keel running experiments and almost everything I looked at came out consistent with the idea of pain in these animals,” said Robert Elwood, professor emeritus of animal behavior at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, The New York Times reported.

Professor of marine and environmental sciences at Northeastern University in Boston, Joseph Ayers, said Elwood’s position is not within mainstream science

“I think the idea of producing such a law is just a bunch of people anthropomorphizing lobsters,” Ayers said, the Times reported.

Ayers said there were other possible reasons for the findings and cautioned against attributing “humanlike responses” to animals “when they simply don’t have the hardware for it.”

Boiling a lobster can take as long as one minute to kill it, which the Swiss have decided is long enough that it might suffer.  

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In a new law that will take effect in March, Switzerland has banned boiling lobsters alive following studies suggesting lobsters are sentient creatures whose advanced nervous systems may feel pain.
switzerland, lobster, ban, boiling, alive
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2018-51-16
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 03:51 PM
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