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article imageCooking crayfish? Do it quickly

By Tim Sandle     Jun 21, 2014 in Food
A new report indicates that cryafish and other crustaceans feel pain and suffer with anxiety. Based on this, it is best to cook the creatures quickly to minimize suffering.
According to a new report in the journal Science, if you zap a crayfish with electricity the animal appears to experience anxiety. In trials, the crustacean no longer ventured out of its comfort zone out of fear of being zapped again. This is the first demonstration of anxiety-like behavior in invertebrates, and crayfish join a list of other animals, in addition to humans, that display anxiety.
Commenting on the finding, Bob Elwood, who studies invertebrate stress at Queen’s University Belfast and who was not involved in the study, told BBC News: "This work shows the behavior is consistent with a state of anxiety. But pinning together what the animals are feeling is the impossible thing. We know how we are feeling, and we know the behavior associated with that—but you cannot ask a crayfish how it feels."
Based on the findings, the authors recommend that effective safeguards against inflicting pain should be taken just to be on the safe side, and people should also ensure they are killed rapidly, especially when being prepared as food.
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