Swiss ban boiling lobsters alive


SWITZERLAND has outlawed the age old restaurant culinary practice of boiling lobsters alive.
From March 1, as part of new government animal protection reforms, it will be illegal for chefs to throw live lobsters into the pot.
The Swiss authorities say they will only accept an electric shock or the ‘mechanical destruction’ of the lobster\’s brain to render the creatures effectively dead before chefs prepare them.
The Swiss Federal Council has also banned the practice of transporting crustaceans on ice or in ice water, ruling they should be kept in their natural environment instead.
While the edict has been welcomed by animal welfare organisations which claim crustaceans can feel pain, it has angered many of the country\’s chefs who draw heavily on neighbouring French and Italian culinary culture.
The question of whether lobsters and other hard shell crustaceans such as crabs can feel pain has been debated for many years, with scientists divided on the issue.
A Swiss government spokeswoman said the new regulations were being driven by the animal rights argument.
‘There are more animal friendly methods than boiling alive that can be applied when killing a lobster,’ she said.
She revealed there had been suggestions from the public and welfare groups to prohibit the import of all lobsters into Switzerland, but the federal government thought this measure was not applicable due to international trading laws.
New Zealand is another country that has stopped the practice of boiling lobsters alive.


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