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PETA Files Cruelty Complaint Over Crustacean Killing Method at Linda Bean

Formal Complaint Delivered to Knox County D.A. and Rockland Police Chief Shows Violations of Maine Anti-Cruelty Law

For Immediate Release:
September 19, 2013

Contact:
Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

Rockland, Maine — PETA has submitted a detailed, formal criminal complaint—along with extensive video footage recorded inside Rockland-based Linda Bean’s Maine Lobster (LBML)—to Knox County District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau and Rockland Police Chief Bruce Boucher. The group is calling for the authorities to investigate LBML and file criminal charges, if appropriate. As PETA’s investigation reveals, workers at LBML routinely rip and tear the legs, heads, and shells off live lobsters, leaving them to lie writhing in bins, and break apart conscious crabs’ shells with sharp spikes—all violations of Maine’s cruelty-to-animals statute, which prohibits “intentionally … kill[ing] … an animal by a method that does not cause instantaneous death.” The state law does not exempt cruelty to crustaceans.

“PETA would rather lobsters and crabs were left in peace, but there’s no excuse for a big company—with the ability to kill them instantly—to kill them cruelly instead,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “Maine’s laws need to be enforced when it comes to prosecuting those who are dismembering and mutilating any live animals.”

PETA’s nine-page complaint cites 38 incidents captured on video during its investigation related to apparent violations of cruelty-to-animals laws as well as the expert opinions of Dr. Bjørn Roth, who described LBML’s killing method as “carving the animal alive,” and Dr. Robert Elwood, who described the process as “extreme.” The group also cites a scientific report prepared for the European Commission that concluded that lobsters and crabs “have a pain system” and that tearing the animals apart while they are “still alive and fully conscious” is likely to cause pain and distress.

Other lobster-processing plants use less cruel methods of killing the animals, such as hydrostatic pressure—the method used at Shucks Maine Lobster in Richmond—which Bean once relied on, reportedly because she recognized it as humane. PETA requested to meet privately with Ms. Bean or her staff prior to releasing its investigation but has still not received a response.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.