Minister Schouten wants the standing practice in Dutch restaurants that lobsters and crabs are killed first before they are cooked. She promised this during the parliamentary debate on the agricultural budget.
The Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality made the commitment in response to a question by Party for the Animal MP Wassenberg, who advocates a ban. Schouten points out that this is being looked at at European level and that she thinks that is a good thing. She also wants to see what can already be done in the Netherlands to ensure that the animals are not cooked alive.
Until there is a ban, she thinks that chefs and restaurants should take steps themselves. She points out that many restaurants crabs and lobsters are no longer cooking alive and also sees that there is attention to alternative cooking methods on cooking courses.
British research: the animals feel pain
“I want to see how I can also make that more suitable, in such a way that we no longer cook animals alive if there are also ways to kill them faster with less pain,” says Schouten.
The debate referred to a recent study commissioned by the British government. This shows that there is “strong scientific evidence” that crabs, lobsters and octopuses can suffer and experience pain, which was reason for the British to include them in animal protection legislation. Animal welfare organizations advocate to do that in the Netherlands as well.
It is not the first time that the issue is playing in the House of Representatives. In 2018, the year Switzerland banned the living cooking of lobsters, the Party for the Animals also filed a motion to introduce a ban in the Netherlands. At the time, there was no majority for that in the House.