Swiss insist on stunning lobsters before cooking

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Swiss insist on stunning lobsters before cooking

This traditional way of cooking lobsters is out, with the government now saying people have to stun the creatures first or properly kill them by the method of a knife to the brain through the back of their heads - or the part of their weird body that most resembles a head - before they're cooked.

The common cooking practice of boiling live lobsters in water was just outlawed by the Swiss government after animal rights activists and some scientists argued that lobsters' central nervous systems are complex enough that they can actually feel pain. Now the Swiss government has made the culinary tradition illegal, requiring that lobsters be either rendered unconscious or quickly killed before being placed in a pot of boiling water.

The U.S. sold about $368,000 worth of live lobster - most of it from ME - to Switzerland in 2016, according to trade analyst company WISERtrade.

The landmark legislation come amid growing scientific evidence that invertebrates such as lobsters, crabs and crayfish are capable of feeling pain.

While there is no absolute proof that lobsters can feel pain, constant experiments ran by scientists indicate an idea of pain in lobsters and similar animals.

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The Swiss government also said it would no longer be permitted to transport live marine crustaceans like lobsters on ice or in icy water, ruling instead that they should "always be held in their natural environment".

A host of other animal protection rules are included in the new regulations, including the banning of devices that punish dogs for barking, new rules on the size of pet cages and a decree that says guinea pigs, rabbits and chicks are no longer allowed to be put on display in zoos. This new practice will go into effect March 1, according to The Guardian. Animal behavior researcher Robert Elwood doesn't agree. Using this definition means crustaceans do feel pain.

Crustaceans may endure stress due to low oxygen levels and overcrowding in tanks when kept in confinement.

But crustaceans have decentralized nervous systems, meaning it takes more than one blow to the head to stun them, unlike fish.

It said the best way to help animals is to avoid eating them.

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