What is the most humane way to kill a crab? Is tossing it in boiling water a quick death? Or should I decpaitate it (where ever its head ends)? And where/how are they protected in Australia?? Queen's University says new research it conducted shows crabs not only suffer pain but retain a memory of it. The study, which looked at the reactions of hermit crabs to small electric shocks, was carried out by Professor Bob Elwood and Mirjam Appel. The crabs reacted adversely to the shocks but also seemed to try to avoid future shocks, suggesting that they recalled the past ones..... ...As part of the research, wires were attached to shells to deliver small shocks to the abdomen of some of the crabs. The study revealed the only crabs to get out of their shells were those which had received shocks, indicating that the experience was unpleasant for them. Legislation to protect crustaceans has been proposed but it is likely to cover only scientific research... ..."Legislation to protect crustaceans has been proposed but it is likely to cover only scientific research," he said. "Millions of crustaceans are caught or reared in aquaculture for the food industry. "There is no protection for these animals - with the possible exception of certain states in Australia - as the presumption is that they cannot experience pain. "With vertebrates we are asked to err on the side of caution and I believe this is the approach to take with these crustaceans."