A GROUP of campaigners in the UK has joined growing demands to prohibit the live boiling of lobsters and other crustaceans.
Earlier this month, as part of a general reform of animal practices, the Swiss government made it illegal to throw live lobsters into the pot, a move which did not go down well with some of the country’s leading chefs.
The Swiss also outlawed the practice of transporting crustaceans on ice or in ice water, ruling they should be kept in their natural environment instead.
New Zealand banned the practice some time ago and it is also illegal in the Reggio Emilia region of Italy.
Despite extensive research, marine biologists remain divided over whether lobsters can feel pain.
Now more than 50 celebrities and high profile campaigners have called for greater protections for both lobsters and crabs.
They have signed a letter urging the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, to categorise the crustaceans as sentient organisms in any new Animal Welfare Bill.
The campaigners claim there is mounting scientific evidence that shows the animals can feel pain. Signatories include television presenter Chris Packham and comedian Bill Bailey.
The letter to Gove says: ‘In light of the extreme practices they are subjected to, we call on the government to include decapod crustaceans under the definition of ‘animal’ in the Animal Welfare Bill.’
The campaigners also include representatives from the RSPCA and the British Veterinary Association.