But the Lobster Institute in ME claims the crustaceans do not feel pain because their nervous systems are primitive, comparable to that of an insect.
Switzerland has just made a huge step in the right direction for sea animals in the food industry - a new animal welfare regulation will make boiling lobster and all other crustaceans alive completely illegal.
As part of a wider overhaul of Swiss animal-protection laws, as of March 1, "the practice of plunging live lobsters into boiling water, which is common in restaurants, is no longer permitted". The new law comes after an abundance of evidence has shown that lobsters, crabs, prawns and other invertebrates feel pain.
More "humane" methods chefs must now use include freezing lobsters to stun them, driving the tip of a knife through their heads, or electric shock before boiling.
The government is also outlawing the practice of transporting live crustaceans like lobsters in icy water or on ice, saying they must "always be held in their natural environment".
According to many scientists, crustaceans can most likely feel pain, and boiling them alive and unstunned can cause vast suffering for many seconds. Such procedures, he noted, "would never be allowed with vertebrates". In a 2013 experiment, Elwood examined how crabs react to being electrically shocked.
A Norwegian study from 2005 concluded lobsters do not have brains, so they do not feel pain. Italy's Supreme Court banned lobster from being stored alive in ice only previous year, as this is believed to cause the animals immeasurable suffering.
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