“Crustaceans are sentient”: the law in Great Britain prohibits boiling them alive

Crustaceans are sensitive creatures and for this reason, crabs and lobsters feel pain when immersed in boiling water for cooking. The British government instituted this yesterday, paving the way for the possibility of banning cooks from boiling these live animals in the UK. Indeed, an amendment has been introduced to the Law on Animal Welfare, which is currently under consideration in Parliament, that makes it illegal for them to inflict unnecessary harm and suffering. A report from the London School of Economics confirmed that there is scientific evidence of sensitivity in crabs and lobsters, but also in some types of shellfish, such as octopuses and squid. With the amendment, cephalopod mollusks and crustaceans have been added to the definition of ‘animal’ and therefore come under the categories protected by the bill.

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The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) argues that the law will have no effect on restaurant kitchens, but activists aim to use the new law to ask a court to ban the boiling of live animals, Which requires less painful and more compassionate. The methods used to kill them. For the cook, a way to avoid committing a crime may be to kill the shellfish before submerging them in boiling water, before freezing them, or otherwise cooking them, so as not to cause unnecessary torture. A rule that should also apply to those who cook at home.

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It is illegal to boil them alive in Switzerland.

Boiling live shellfish is already illegal in some countries. In Switzerland, for example, it has been an illegal process since 2018: the Swiss government has banned the throwing of live lobsters and lobsters into pots of boiling water. The traditional way of cooking has become illegal as it is considered inhumane. Theories that argued that crustaceans do not feel pain when immersed upside down in boiling water have been dismissed as unfounded.

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