Policy on Stunning of Decapods
Crustacean Compassion believes that decapod crustaceans should only be stunned using methods that result in instantaneous insensibility to pain and distress or where insensibility is induced without causing pain and distress. This insensible state must be maintained until death occurs.
Humane Methods of Stunning
(1) Electrical Stunning
When appropriate parameters are applied, electrical stunning can deliver a swift, effective and humane stun to decapod crustaceans including crabs, lobsters, crayfish and shrimp. Hence, Crustacean Compassion considers this to be the best option currently available for rendering these animals insensible prior to swift application of an effective killing method.
It should be noted, however, that this position relates to the use of electrical methods for stunning only.
Inhumane Methods of Stunning
(1) Chilling - General
Crustacean Compassion believes that decapod crustaceans should not be subjected to chilling for the purposes of stunning/killing, unless and until there is robust species-specific evidence that the method can achieve distress-free insensibility and cessation of central neural activity in the species in question.
(2) Dry/Air Chilling
Crustacean Compassion believes that decapod crustaceans should not be subjected to dry/air chilling due to the risk of prolonged suffering associated with this method of stunning.
(3) Wet/Ice Chilling
It is clear that instantaneous insensibility has not been demonstrated in any species from wet/ice chilling, which together with the welfare concerns associated with exposure to very low temperatures, leads to the conclusion that wet/ice chilling should not be used as a stunning method for decapod crustaceans.
(4) Chemical Anaesthetics
The variable, inconclusive and in some cases concerning nature of the evidence regarding the efficacy and welfare impact of chemical anaesthetics, indicates that they should not be considered for use as a stunning method for decapod crustaceans.
(5) CO2 Gassing
Given the strong evidence indicating both the aversiveness of CO2 and the long duration of exposure needed to achieve insensibility, Crustacean Compassion believes that CO2 gas should not be used as a stunning method for decapod crustaceans due to the prolonged suffering involved.
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