Humane Slaughter of Edible Decapod Crustaceans

Francesca Conte, Eva Voslarova*, Vladimir Vecerek, Robert William Elwood, Paolo Coluccio, Michela Pugliese, Annamaria Passantino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Vast numbers of crustaceans are produced by aquaculture and caught in fisheries to meet the increasing demand for seafood and freshwater crustaceans. Simultaneously, the public is increasingly concerned about current methods employed in their handling and killing. Recent evidence has shown that decapod crustaceans probably have the capacity to suffer because they show responses consistent with pain and have a relatively complex cognitive capacity. For these reasons, they should receive protection. Despite the large numbers of crustaceans transported and slaughtered, legislation protecting their welfare, by using agreed, standardized methods, is lacking. We review various stunning and killing systems proposed for crustaceans, and assess welfare concerns. We suggest the use of methods least likely to cause suffering and call for the implementation of welfare guidelines covering the slaughter of these economically important animals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1089
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Decapoda
  • Legislation
  • Slaughtering techniques
  • Stunning
  • Welfare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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