Media cite Lobster Institute, Bayer in articles on Switzerland’s ban on boiling crustaceans alive

The Lobster Institute at the University of Maine was mentioned in the Gizmodo report, “Switzerland outlaws boiling lobsters alive.” New Swiss regulations will require food preparers to stun or mechanically destroy a lobster’s brain before immersing it in boiling water, according to the article. The Lobster Institute at UMaine suggests that a lobster’s nervous system isn’t complex enough to process pain, with only 100,000 nervous system cells compared to a human’s 100 billion, the article states. Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute, said if someone wanted to numb a lobster before killing it, they would just needed to put it on ice or in very cold fresh water. This method also would be outlawed by the Swiss ruling, which forbids suppliers from storing live animals on ice, and instead requires the animals be held in their natural environment, Gizmodo reported. The Washington Post also reported on the ban and interviewed Bayer. When asked if lobsters can feel pain, Bayer said, “They can sense their environment, but they probably don’t have the ability to process pain.” Chicago Tribune, Bangor Daily News, Portland Press Herald and Sun Journal carried the Washington Post article.