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ANIMAL RIGHTS LOBBY'S GOING LOBSTER POTTY; Parly ponder ban on boiling alive.

Byline: By Marie Sharp

CHEFS could be banned by the Scottish parliament from boiling lobsters alive.

Animal rights activists say the practice is inhumane - and now MSPs are considering placing lobsters and crabs on a protected list But some of Scotland's top chefs yesterday branded the move "potty".

Nick Nairn said: "I think there are far more pressing problems in Scotland that politicians should be turning their attention to - like the dreadful diet of our children"I am surprised this has become a political issue." And Clarissa Dickson Wright said the proposal, now being considered by Holyrood's environment and rural development committee, was "a crazy idea".

The committee may add crustaceans to the new Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill. It would mean putting live lobsters in boiling pans of water would be banned.

Liberal Democrat MSP Nora Radcliffe said that while it was accepted lobsters needed to be killed a short time before cooking to avoid becoming toxic, other methods should be considered.

She said: "You can kill them humanely with a skewer between the eyes before they are boiled. That way death is instant and they do not suffer."

Mark Ruskell, the Green Party vice-convener of the committee said there was evidence that crustaceans experienced pain.

Animal activists PETA have set up a Lobster Liberation Group, which encourages people to free the creatures from restaurants.

But University of Aberdeen marine biologist Peter Fraser said: "I don't think there is any real evidence lobsters feel pain in the process of being boiled

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CLAWS FOR CONCERN: Lobster
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 28, 2005
Words:259
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