Daily bite: Switzerland bans crustacean cruelty

Switzerland bans live lobster boiling

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In the interests of animal protection, it will soon be illegal to transport lobsters on ice, or live-boil lobsters in Switzerland.

"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 Swiss government on Wednesday, January 11, 2018.

In June 2016, Italy made a similar ruling, saying that while live-boiling is OK, the practice of keeping lobsters on ice before preparation causes unnecessary suffering to the crustacean.

The lobster isn’t the first species to receive protection under Swiss law. According to the website, Swissinfo, Switzerland was the first country in the world to announce that it would phase out battery chickens in 1992. Industrial animal husbandry is forbidden in Switzerland, and there are strict regulations regarding buildings for livestock.

“To anyone in a civilized society, this legislation makes sense,” says animal rights group PETA, in response to Wednesday’s announcement. “The best way to help all animals is to leave them off your plate and choose vegan foods instead.”

The new Swiss law will take effect in March 2018.