Officially, as of March, it will be illegal to boil lobsters alive in Switzerland. Instead, they should be stunned first. The decision was made after more and more evidence kept piling up supporting the fact that lobsters can indeed feel pain.
Local lawmakers voted an article stating “the practice of plunging live lobsters into boiling water, which is common in restaurants, is no longer permitted,” as part of a wider overhaul of the nation’s animal-protection law.
The Swiss take animal rights very seriously, having many laws in place that look after the physical and psychological well-being of animals, wildlife and pets alike. Some laws might even look silly to some, like the fact that it’s illegal to own just one guinea pig or parrot. Such animals are considered victims of abuse if they don’t regularly interact with others of their species. But for the Swiss, it’s a way to ensure an ethical, compassionate behavior towards animals.
Once the law comes into force, only after the lobster’s brain has been destroyed either with an electric shock or “mechanically” can the animal be boiled.
The new laws in the Alpine country also crack down on illegal puppy farms and automatic devices that punish dogs for barking. Hopefully, other countries will soon follow suit.
If you really enjoy a nice lobster dinner but would like to know what’s the most humane to kill them, the Australian RSPCA has a guide.