Inquire if the crab in your sandwich killed humanely

By Rosalind Groves

Friday, June 20, 2014


LETTERS From Rosalind Groves, Ryde:

With so many good pubs and restaurants on the IW serving crab and lobster, I hope everyone who buys or processes these creatures, commercially or to eat at home, is aware of the campaign to ensure they are killed humanely.

If we must kill them, it should be done as quickly as possible.

We still see crabs, having been removed from water into air, having their pincers tied up and thrown into boxes to be taken ashore.

Methods of killing used to involve putting lobsters into boiling water and crabs into cold water, which was then heated.

An early memory from my first visit to the Island, when my family was staying next door to a fisherman, is of seeing crabs being cooked in a pot over a fire in his garden. They were trying to climb out and were being poked back in with a stick.

Now, instruction is available on less brutal methods, which involve chilling them until they are insensible and then splitting or spiking in the right place to destroy their nerve centres.

These are clearly specialised techniques but surely instruction should be compulsory for everyone who uses these animals.

If a dog or cat, even, possibly, a lamb or pig, were treated in the way many crustaceans are treated, probably many people would protest. Yet, crustaceans too, are sensate animals which experience pain and stress.

As individuals, we often feel powerless to protect such animals or change how they are treated. Perhaps we could at least inquire, when we order our crab sandwich or lobster salad, what method of killing has been used?

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