An end to the barbaric boiling of lobsters?

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Crustastun in use

ANALYSIS: It’s about time. It is said that when a living lobster is placed into boiling water it screams in pain. As I recall, it’s been proved that they do. And there’s no reason why they shouldn’t feel pain. They are sentient beings. Fish feel pain too. How chefs across the planet believed that they could kill a lobster humanely by placing it into boiling water is frankly beyond me. But they are coming around to the idea of killing them humanely partly because it makes lobster taste better!

A device has been created by a family law barrister who’s name is Simon Buckhaven. He loves to eat lobster but one day he was in France and was horrified to see the animal boiled alive which he called barbaric.

Crustastun in use

Crustastun in use. Christopher Basten Chef de Cuisine of the Oak Room Restaurant at ‘ Great Fosters’ Surrey using ‘Crustastun’ machine prototype used to kill lobsters or crab painlessly, 5th May 2006. Photo by Gill Allen/The Times

So he devised a stun chamber which stuns lobster, crab or crayfish in less than half a second with a 110-volt shock. It’s been thoroughly tested to prove that the animal is completely stunned and can’t feel anything. If the stunning lasts longer the lobster is anaesthetised and they become brain-dead.

He says that the lobsters don’t suffer stress and the stress level is one-hundreth of their stress levels when travelling.

Veterinarians are calling for a change and I’m sure that there is increasing pressure from the public who nowadays are more aware and sensitive towards environmental issues and animal welfare which I consider to be a spin-off.

In a new policy on animal slaughter, the British Veterinary Association has said that crabs, lobsters and shrimp and other crustacean should be stunned before they are killed. They want more research carried out into humane ways to stun lobsters electrically and they want these methods to be incorporated into regulations on animal welfare. In other words they wanted it to become law to ensure that the procedures are carried out.

The good news is that a lot of celebrity chefs are turning to Simon Buckhaven’s electrical stun gun which is called Crustastun.

For example, Nigel Bloxham, celebrity chef and the owner of the Crab House Café in Weymouth, Dorset is an enthusiastic supporter of the device.

I think we may be the biggest users in the country. We are cooking 60 crabs a day with this machine.

He now can’t kill the animals any other way as he sees it as inhumane. And he is convinced that they taste better. His customers found that his crab is “very nice” and he also found that professionals picked the stunned crab every time. So there is a commercial advantage in using the device. In addition, it is said that the device makes crustaceans more sustainable by extending the time that they can be safely kept after killing. Therefore they can be used more thoroughly.