Acta Vet. Brno 2019, 88: 329-335

The effects of claw ligatures in American lobster (Homarus americanus) storage: a preliminary study of haemolymph parameters

Chiara Coppola1, Erica Tirloni1, Mauro Vasconi1, Aniello Anastasio2, Simone Stella1, Cristian Bernardi1

1University of Milan, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety Laboratory of Food Inspection, Milan, Italy
2University of Naples “Federico II”, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, Naples, Italy

Received May 2, 2019
Accepted June 13, 2019

American lobsters are crustaceans that are offered for sale live and are stored in controlled temperature recirculating aquaria. During marketing, they are subjected to stressors that can affect their welfare, such as air exposure, confinement, and handling. European legislation does not provide specific criteria or retention requirements, and so their management depends largely on the common sense of food business operators. Claw ligatures before and during storage are not legally required but are recommended because they prevent lobsters from damaging each other and ensure workers’ safety. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effect of claw ligatures on the lobsters’ welfare by analysing eight different haemolymph stress indicators, vitality, and weight. The calcium level showed significant differences in the two experimental groups (P < 0.05). Our results suggested that the absence of rubber bands did not offer any significant contribution to the lobsters’ welfare.


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