Animal Aid

Stop Makro Selling Live Lobsters

Posted 23 May 2012

Animal Aid has teamed up with Viva! to tackle the sale of live lobsters and crabs by wholesaler, Makro. The company abandoned this practice in 2003 following a campaign by Animal Aid but reintroduced it last year, citing improved in-store welfare standards and staff education. In reality, staff members undertake a one-hour online course.

The lobsters – who are caught in Canada and then flown to the UK – may be kept in tanks for weeks or months. The potential for suffering during capture and transportation is clear. Once bought, however, things only worsen with many of the animals being boiled alive – a method suggested to the undercover investigator by a saleswoman at one Makro store. Staff at another store refused to offer any advice at all and simply told her to look up how to kill a lobster on the internet. When thrown into boiling water, death can take anything from 15 seconds to seven minutes.

Kate Fowler, Head of Campaigns at Animal Aid says:

‘Nine years ago, Makro responded to public opinion by stopping its trade in live animals. It has since justified its reversal of policy by claiming that a one-hour course for staff is sufficient to educate them how to care for the animals in store. We know that for such complex creatures this is wholly insufficient. It is also obvious that Makro can never know how those animals are treated once they have left the store. If Makro wants to be seen as an ethical retailer, there is only one course of action available: to stop the trade immediately.’

Viva! founder and zoologist, Juliet Gellatley, says:

‘It is unbelievable that Makro is selling live lobsters for people to take home and kill themselves – subjecting the animals to extreme pain, suffering and a slow death by being boiled alive. Viva! is deeply concerned that this practice may spread to all stores and to other retailers. Lobsters are highly intelligent creatures, who are very much capable of feeling pain. We call on Makro to stop selling live lobsters immediately and vow never to reintroduce the practice again, when it thinks people have forgotten about the issue.’

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