Live Lobsters Torn Apart in Contravention of Maine Law at L.L.Bean Heiress’s Plant, PETA Says

While Competitor, Shucks Maine Lobster, Uses Modern Killing Method, Secretly Shot Video Shows Live Animals Left Writhing in Bins at Bean’s

For Immediate Release:
September 17, 2013

Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

Rockland, Maine — Video shot by a PETA investigator who worked at Rockland-based Linda Bean’s Maine Lobster (LBML) reveals that the plant is using a primitive and painful killing method that violates Maine’s cruelty-to-animals statute. The footage shows that the lobsters and crabs slaughtered at LBML aren’t electrically stunned or subjected to hydrostatic pressure before they’re dismembered—methods used by others, including Whole Foods Market in Portland and Shucks Maine Lobster in Richmond. PETA’s investigator documented that LBML workers slam live crabs’ faces onto spikes to break off their top shells and then press their exposed organs and flesh against stiff bristles. The crabs didn’t die outright. After viewing PETA’s video footage from the investigation, Dr. Bjørn Roth, an expert on the slaughter of crustaceans at the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fishery and Aquaculture, describes the cruelty of LBML’s killing method as “carving the animal alive.” Another expert described the process as “extreme.”

Title 17, Section 1031 of the Maine Revised Statutes states that a person “is guilty of cruelty to animals if that person intentionally … mutilates an animal” or “intentionally … kills … an animal by a method that does not cause instantaneous death.” At LBML, lobsters, whose nerve ganglia are situated throughout their bodies, have their legs, heads, and shells torn off while they’re fully conscious and sensible to pain, and they remain alive long after they’ve been dismembered. The statute does not exempt crustacean processing practices.

“Marine experts concur that lobsters and crabs feel every agonizing second of having their legs, shells, and heads ripped off their bodies,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “Live dismemberment is cruel, illegal, and inexcusable, especially when far more humane methods exist to spare these animals pain.”

PETA believes that the best way to help prevent lobsters and crabs from suffering is to stop eating them but points out that there is no excuse for blatant cruelty or violations of law in processing. 

PETA had asked to meet privately with Ms. Bean or her staff but hasn’t received a response. For more information, please visit

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