According to a recent article by The Times, the UK are to follow suit of Australia, Switzerland and Italy by protecting octopus, squid, lobster and crab from cruelty under new RSPCA regulations. RSPCA sources confirmed that it was working with the government to get seafood included in a proposed law to protect all animals that are deemed sentient, joining the likes of dogs, cats and farm animals that have been protected for decades.
The article stated: “Chefs in New South Wales have to dip crustaceans in saltwater with ice for 20 minutes to numb them. Skilled kitchen staff get ten seconds to cut out the nerve centres of a lobster or crab. Only then may the shellfish be boiled.
Switzerland insists that crustaceans be stunned before killing. An Italian court ruled that lobsters may be boiled according to tradition but cannot be kept on ice beforehand. Instead, they should await their fate in tanks at room temperature” and now the UK are set to bring their own regulations into place.
At Mitchell & Cooper, crustacean welfare has always been, and continues to be paramount, which is why we are proud to be the manufacturers and distributors of Crustastun, a revolutionary appliance designed specifically for the humane stunning of crustaceans. Our company director, Guy Cooper, explains why Crustastun is an essential appliance for anyone who buys in fresh crabs, lobsters and crayfish:
“The traditional way of cooking lobsters and crabs is not only outdated, but also unethical, therefore embracing advances in the latest technology, such as Crustastun, helps to eliminate inhumane cooking methods. Crustaceans boiled alive can take 3 minutes to be heated to the 34°required to cause loss of consciousness. Stress hormones released during this process not only inflict suffering upon the animal, but it also negatively affects the flavour and texture of the meat. Electro-stunning with Crustastun is a completely painless process which produces total anaesthesia within half a second and despatch ensues within 5-10 seconds.
Switzerland has led the way in the ‘crustacean liberation’ movement by being the first country to make boiling live lobsters a criminal offence and now more and more countries are beginning to follow their example.As consumers have become increasingly aware of the controversy surrounding traditional practices, and the distress these traditional methods can cause the animal, pressure has increased to get the practice of boiling and spiking crustaceans made illegal in Britain. We are therefore thrilled to hear that crustaceans will be protected under these new RSPCA regulations to ensure that crabs and lobsters are treated in the humane way that they deserve.”