Boiling lobsters alive ruled an act of cruelty in Switzerland

Another Country Has Banned Boiling Live Lobsters. Some Scientists Wonder Why

Boiling lobsters alive is illegal in some places including New Zealand

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.

Although a lobster can make for a delicious dish, it's often boiled alive during the cooking process, which has been met with a lot of public criticism and calls for a more humane cooking method.

This new lobster law is part of an overall reform in Switzerland's animal protection laws. Following a similar law put in place earlier by the Italian government, the Swiss government is no longer allowing for lobsters to be transported on ice. It will be also illegal to transport lobsters in ice or icy water as the revamped laws rule that all aquatic species must always be in their natural environment.

One of the most common alternatives to dispatching crustaceans in the pot is "numbing" them in the freezer before a quick death delivered with a knife.

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The new law doesn't mean taking lobster off the menu. Such government orders are in response to the arguments of animal rights advocates and scientists who claim that crustaceans have advanced nervous systems and can likely feel pain.

According to Jonathan Birch, assistant professor in philosophy at the London School of Economics, animal welfare scientists define pain as "an aversive sensation and feeling associated with actual or potential tissue damage".

In case you were wondering, the inhumane practice of boiling lobsters while they're still alive is typically done to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying quickly once a lobster dies.

But Robert Elwood said that this is probably a false assumption.

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

The group that is known for its active campaign to stop cruelty against animals also took a swipe at the USA government for not enacting laws to protect crustaceans.

Time will tell whether other countries will follow Switzerland's example. It said the best way to help animals is to avoid eating them. An Italian court ruled last June that lobsters can not be kept on ice in restaurant kitchens because it causes them undue suffering.

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