Tell Maine District Attorney: Lobsters Feel Pain, Deserve Legal Protection

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District Attorney Matthew J. Foster, of Maine's seventh prosecutorial district, has declined to prosecute horrific cruelty to lobsters at Maine Fair Trade Lobster after PETA obtained eyewitness footage showing workers dismembering fully conscious lobsters by tearing off their claws, puncturing their shells, and ripping their heads off. The explanation the public was given is that lobsters don't fall within the definition of "animal" under Maine law—yet they certainly do.

lobster's legs cut off with scissors while concious

Lobsters meet every conceivable plain definition of a sentient animal. As scientific evidence shows—as does common sense—those at Maine Fair Trade Lobster felt every agonizing second of the mutilations and torture. The company's spokesperson was quoted as saying that the company believes in the "humane treatment of lobsters" and in "promoting [their] welfare." The company knows that lobsters feel pain—or else there wouldn't be a need for them to be treated "humanely."

Many countries have acted to prevent cruelty to crustaceans. Prosecuting cruelty to lobsters in the U.S. would send a strong message to the industry that the dismemberment and mutilation of live crustaceans can't be carried out with impunity. Both the law and the actions of prosecutors should reflect the ever-evolving values of the public—which increasingly demands that we extend compassion to lobsters. Decent people everywhere now understand that while some animals may look very different from us, that doesn't mean that they don't deserve consideration and legal protection.

What You Can Do

Sign the petition urging Foster to recognize lobsters as the sentient beings they are and to prosecute the unacceptable practices at Maine Fair Trade Lobster. And please, consider all lobsters and leave them off your plate.

Please Act to Prosecute and End Cruelty to Lobsters

Dear District Attorney Mr. Matthew J. Foster,

I was upset to learn that your office has decided not to file cruelty-to-animals charges against Maine Fair Trade Lobster, whose standard operating procedures involve dismembering, mutilating, and torturing conscious lobsters and leaving them to die slowly—all of which is prohibited by Maine law. Scientific evidence, as well as common sense, shows that lobsters are sentient animals, and they would have felt every agonizing moment of the abuse documented at this slaughterhouse.

I urge you to reconsider your decision in light of recent scientific and legal developments recognizing that lobsters are indeed capable of experiencing suffering. Please take immediate action to halt this company's practice of dismembering live animals and help alleviate the suffering of lobsters, who are entitled to protection under Maine's cruelty-to-animals statute.

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