Tuesday, 14 February 2006
Animal rights in New Zealand
Crayfish is similar to lobsters we get in Asia. As it is in Asia, it is also a delicacy and expensive here in New Zealand. There are various ways to cook them and one of the most popular methods was to boil them while still alive. Most are sold alive anyway if one didn’t catch them. There was an article in the New Zealand Herald this morning about how one should legally kill a crayfish or crab for consumption. It seems that under the Animal Welfare Act, it is an offence and can be prosecuted if caught inhumanely killing a crayfish or crab, even for consumption.
The article said that it is inhumane to stab, drown or boil a crayfish, and that it is also against the law. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has issued a reminder on the kindest way to despatch seafood delicacies such as crayfish and crabs. The ministry says that it was also equally cruel to try and kill them with a blow to the head or other part of the body because they did not have a central nervous system but a spread out one. Drowning in fresh water was also inappropriate and caused "severe osmotic stress". The most humane way of killing a crayfish or crab was to chill it at between 2C and 4C until it was "insensible" and safely immobile. It could then be killed with a sharp instrument either by head spiking between the eyes, or chest spiking through the chest wall from the underside.
While there are still people being brutally killed in some parts of the world, activists here and internationally, are now debating on whether fish felt pain. I wonder where we humans are in the food chain.