Switzerland is the latest country to ban the common culinary practice of live boiling lobsters. As of March 1, the practice of plunging live lobsters into boiling water, which is common in restaurants, is no longer permitted, and lobsters will have to be stunned before they are put to death. Only electric shocks or “mechanical destruction of the brain” will be acceptable before the lobsters are cooked. Furthermore, the Swiss government has banned the transport of live marine animals on ice or in icy water, stating that they must “always be held in their natural environment.”
There has been an ongoing debate over whether or not lobsters feel pain – initial studies determined that the basic nervous system of crustaceans and insects meant that they couldn’t feel pain. Recent studies, however, have shown that crabs respond negatively to electric shocks, which would indicate that they are aware of physical stimulus.
Switzerland has long been a frontrunner in animal rights law with one lawyer once taking a fisherman to court for animal cruelty, simply to make a point.