Letter: Shellfish abuse

Sir: The Shellfish network was formed four years ago to campaign peacefully against cruelty to these animals ("Think shrimp", Magazine, 29 August). Standard cooking methods are to boil, steam, grill or cut up while they are alive and fully conscious. It is a much-neglected subject compared with other issues of animal abuse. Though relatively "humane" techniques for stunning crabs and lobsters before cooking have been put forward by animal welfare organisations these are not required by law in Britain.

We were active in the protest that made Waitrose and Tesco abandon plans to sell live lobsters. We believe we are the only organisation to give a consistently high profile to the shellfish. But they remain at or near the bottom of the league-table of public sympathy.

We are running a national petition calling on the Government to ban the exploitation of shellfish for human consumption and to press for this at European Community level.

JULIE ROXBURGH

Leatherhead, Surrey

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