Switzerland Bans Cooking Lobster in Boiling Water

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Instead of throwing live lobsters into a boiling pot of water to cook them, chefs in Switzerland will now have to follow more humane practices.

A new animal protection law might upset thousands of culinary enthusiasts from Switzerland, as the Swiss Government voted for the prohibition of killing crustaceans through boiling. Beginning March 1, cooking live lobsters is no longer permitted in restaurants.

Lobsters "will now have to be stunned before they are put to death", the government order read.

In the United Kingdom, such decapods are not classed as "animals" and therefore aren't covered by the Animal Welfare Act, so may be killed in the vengeful manner of your choosing. Using this definition means crustaceans do feel pain. At the moment, there are little to no details on what happens to individuals who do not abide by the new lobster law.

Stunning a lobster before killing it is an effective way to make sure the animal does not feel any pain, Robert Elwood, a Queen's University Belfast professor told Newsweek. Subsequently, the new law will also prohibit the transportation of lobsters and other crustaceans in ice water or on ice.

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He argued that the experiment results are "entirely consistent with the idea of pain".

"While the particular method of cooking can be considered legal by recognizing that it is commonly used, the suffering caused by detaining the animals while they wait to be cooked cannot be justified in that way", the judges wrote, Reuters reports. "Aquatic species must always be kept in their natural environment", says the new law, according to Swiss Info.

The government also banned automatic anti-barking collars for dogs and introduced new regulations to tackle illegal puppy farms and ensure organizers take responsibility for animals at their public events.

Italy recently passed a similar law saying that restaurants are not allowed to keep live lobsters on ice before boiling them.