TORONTO – National animal law organization Animal Justice filed a legal complaint with the Ontario SPCA after a disturbing video surfaced online, depicting the dismemberment of a live, giant lobster at Toronto restaurant lbs.
The gruesome video was first posted on the Facebook page for the website Eater.com in early May, 2017, as part of a promotional piece showcasing seafood restaurants. It shows the lobster being dismembered, piece by piece, by two individuals at lbs restaurant. The chefs restrain the lobster, forcefully ripping out his front right claw, front left claw, and then ripping his tail off of his abdomen. All the while, the lobster continues to move his legs and tail, indicating that he is still conscious, aware, and suffering throughout the brutal dismemberment. The individuals involved appear to be the owner and executive chef of lbs restaurant.
Lobsters and other crustaceans are protected by criminal animal cruelty laws and provincial legislation. Scientific research has confirmed that lobsters experience pain and can suffer. Dismembering a lobster results in prolonged death and suffering as nerve ganglia located throughout their bodies can continue to function and transmit pain signals during dismemberment.
“Dismembering a live lobster is blatant animal cruelty and lbs restaurant should be prosecuted for this horrific abuse,” said Camille Labchuk, a lawyer and executive director Animal Justice. “Lobsters feel pain, and our laws must protect them from the worst forms of suffering. No animal should die through dismemberment, and authorities must take swift action to ensure lbs does not dismember more lobsters.”
Toronto animal advocate Len Goldberg first discovered that the dismemberment took place at lbs restaurant and shared the video widely online. This prompted people to flood lbs’ online review pages with negative ratings. Lbs has since suspended its own Facebook page, and the video was deleted by Eater earlier this week.
The animal advocacy group Anonymous for the Voiceless will protest outside lbs restaurant, 100 Yonge Street, Toronto, on Saturday, May 20 from 7 – 9 pm. Media are welcome to attend.
Copies of the legal complaint are available upon request.
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