Switzerland bans boiling live lobsters, while scientist says they don't feel pain

But the Swiss government is looking out for the little guys. Boiling lobsters alive isn't going to cut it anymore.

(NEWS CENTER Maine) — Lobster is a staple of fine dining. But one Scandinavian 

The Swiss Federal Council issued an order banning cooks in Switzerland from placing live lobsters in boiling water.  

The Washington Post reports, the new measure protecting the crustacean is set to begin March 1, 2018, in Switzerland mandating that lobsters must be killed before cooking, either by electric shock or other methods. 

The measure raises the old-age question: Can lobsters feel pain? 

Bob Bayer is the executive director of the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute and has been studying lobsters for the last four decades. 

"We do not think lobsters have the ability to process pain."

Bayer says lobsters are a very primitive species and that while they sense their environment and try to avoid threats like heat they do not actually feel pain. 

"I do not see a brain in their nervous system," Bayer says. He compares lobsters nervous systems with those of insects.

Bayer also does not think that the Swiss ban on boiling live lobsters will have a major impact on the profitable Maine export. 

© 2018 NEWS CENTER Maine


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