Switzerland has banned the common culinary practice of throwing fresh lobsters into boiling water as part of an overhaul of its animal protection rules.
“Live crustaceans, including the lobster, may no longer be transported on ice or in ice water. Aquatic species must always be kept in their natural environment. Crustaceans must now be stunned before killing them,” say the rules adopted by the government on Wednesday that will take effect in March, according to Seafood News, which cited the London Telegraph as the source of the story.
The Swiss are not alone in trying to protect lobsters from what activists call cruel treatment in the kitchen.
Neighboring Italy’s highest court ruled in June that lobsters must not be kept on ice in restaurants because it causes them unjustifiable suffering before they head for death by fine dining.
A lobster thrown live into boiling water may suffer for many seconds, according to scientists who argue that crustaceans can likely feel pain.
More humane methods of killing and cooking include freezing lobsters to stun them and driving the tip of a knife swiftly through their heads before adding them to hot water.
The U.S. sold about $368,000 worth of live lobster – most of it from Maine – to Switzerland in 2016, according to trade analyst company WISERtrade.
Source: Portland pressSwiss insist on stunning lobsters before cooking