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Press Statement: 23 December 2022


Following comments made by Prue Leith on ITV’s Lorraine and as highlighted in the Liverpool Echo and Derbyshire Live regarding the method of killing a live lobster, Crustacean Compassion would like to highlight the unethical and inhumane practice of “stab[bing] it in the head". 

Since the formal recognition, and Royal Assent, of all decapod crustacean animals, including lobsters, in the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Act 2022 there is legislative and significant scientific evidence that these lobsters experience conscious pain.  The practices of home slaughter by untrained individuals, such as by “stabbing” is both inappropriate, and importantly does not result in death of the animals, only serious injury. 

To humanely slaughter a crab or lobster, they must firstly be stunned effectively, followed by mechanical killing, before they are cooked. Therefore, it is not possible to humanely slaughter animals these animals at home, without causing undue suffering. The steps required for humane slaughter must be carried out by a trained professional.  

Crustacean Compassion has worked to raise public and professional awareness of this and many issues regarding inappropriate welfare standards afforded to decapods with hundreds of millions suffering each and every year, including a campaign to ban the live sales and posting of decapods by online retailers like Amazon to consumers at home.


Crustacean Compassion CEO Dr Ben Sturgeon says: "This example that top chefs and national TV programmes do not understand, nor indeed seem to care, is evidence that we need to continue to highlight these abhorrent and firmly outdated practices. As animals now recognised as sentient by law, it’s a shame to see their welfare being so woefully covered on primetime television". 



Notes to Editors 

Crustacean Compassion is an award-winning animal welfare organisation dedicated to the humane treatment of decapod crustaceans. We engage with legislators and policy makers to strengthen and enforce animal welfare law and policy; we work to persuade and enable companies to sell higher welfare products across their shellfish product ranges; and we seek to educate both the public and policy makers on the science of decapod crustacean sentience and on their humane treatment and care.  


Our work is grounded in scientific evidence. We do not campaign against the use of decapod crustaceans as food. We welcome good practice in the food industry and believe that all sentient creatures deserve humane treatment, determined by the needs of their species.  


Media Enquiries:   

NB: Spokespeople are available for interview.  

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