The stomach-churning footage shows the mutilation of live lobsters and crabs having their tails and claws torn off, an employee jumping up and down inside a bin of crabs, and workers slamming live crabs face first into spikes. Recorded commentary from the employees reveal that the workers fully realize that the sea creatures are alive, some even noting that they’ll be alive “for hours” after the abuse. PETA say that these cruel methods are illegal and in violation of Maine’s cruelty-to-animals statute.
PETA say that Ms. Bean’s facility should be using a Crustastun, a device that destroys a crustacean’s nerve center and kills them within seconds. Maine law criminalizes intentionally killing animals by any method that does not cause instantaneous death.
“There’s no excuse for the blatant and, we would argue illegal, cruelty going on at this slaughterhouse when there are alternate slaughter methods that rapidly stun and kill these animals,” said Dan Paden, an evidence analysis manager at PETA. “These animals are dying agonizing deaths at this facility.”
Dr. Bjorn Roth, a scientist at the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fishery and Aquaculture, viewed the footage and said, “This is carving the animal alive and would no doubt cause unnecessary pain.” Robert Elwood, a researcher at Queen’s University Belfast, studied the avoidance behavior of shore crabs and discovered that crabs most certainly feel, and will avoid, pain. When he viewed the undercover footage at Ms. Bean’s plant, he agreed that the crab behavior in the footage was “consistent with that of an animal feeling pain.”
Ms. Bean has denied requests to meet with PETA, and did not respond to CBSNews.com’s requests for comment. PETA are planning to file a criminal complaint with the local police and the district attorney.
If you can stomach the gruesome footage, the undercover video can be viewed here on CBSNews.com.
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