Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 03:57:58 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Fish welfare from principle to practice

Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Douglas Waley :
Fish are difficult to sympathize with. They live underwater, we are unfamiliar with their lives and behaviours. They do not make facial expressions, and they are not furry. Yet, science demonstrates high-level pain perception in fish and fish behaviour studies begin to reveal a picture of fish as complex, social and emotional beings. As the evidence base on fish welfare issues continues to emerge, there is a need to integrate it into the regulatory framework addressing animal welfare more broadly at EU level.
Seeing fish as one group is an indicator of the problem: 60 percent of vertebrate species are fish species and the physiological and behavioural variety within that is enormous. Within an aquaculture system they face a range of challenges to their welfare. They are housed in an unnatural environment, often a net cage or tank made of concrete or plastic, where they do not have the possibility to seek shade, establish a territory, hunt, migrate, or express most of their natural behaviours. They are likely to be crowded in much higher densities than they would choose naturally. Water quality and feed suitability and availability are dependent on the good management of the facility, while food will be denied for days before events such as transport, medical treatments, and grading for size. Stress greatly reduces the immune function in fish, and when health issues arise fish farmers do not always have effective solutions available (one-quarter of all salmon farmed in UK last year died of disease or parasites). And in the end, pre-slaughter stunning is only practiced in some sectors. Just last week, a long awaited Commission report into welfare aspects of transport and slaughter in European aquaculture confirmed that whole sectors of European aquaculture are failing to achieve international standards. It is time to take fish welfare regulation beyond recognition of the principle and introduce implementable provisions that bring European aquaculture up to international standards and help the sector live up to its claims of world-beating quality.
The principle of fish sentience and the need to protect their welfare is explicit within both the EU Animal Slaughter and Animal Transport regulations, as well as the General Farming and Animal Testing Directives. While establishing the principle, these legislative pieces fail to make any specific provisions for fish. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) produced a series of scientific opinions on the welfare of important aquaculture species in 2008 and 2009, which to date the Commission has deferred to as providing Member States the detail they need to implement regulations. However, the recently published study clearly shows that thea current framework is not resulting in the application of good welfare practices. EFSA members have recently chosen fish welfare as their top priority for further welfare work, having recognised the importance of the issue. We know a lot about the different parameters for effectively stunning different fish species, and we should be putting these parameters into law in the same way that they are regulated for other farm animals. The parameters for transporting live fish are many, but they are not standardised and should be regulated to ensure good practice.
Aquaculture is a young sector and it should be embracing high welfare standards as the route to healthy and sustainable production. It should avoid the path of compensating for welfare with medicines and other practices that are driving the meat industry into a crisis of confidence with its customers. The EU has a framework for protecting the welfare of animals, and now is the time for fish to be at the top of that agenda.
(Douglas Waley is the Programme Leader for Fish Welfare at Eurogroup for Animals, the pan European animal advocacy organisation representing 58 member organisations in 24 EU Member States, the USA, Switzerland, Australia, Serbia and Norway).

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Cricket »

ICC WC Trophy to arrive in Bangladesh today

ICC World Cup (WC) Trophy will arrive in Bangladesh today as part of its worldwide 'Trophy Tour' ahead of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 scheduled to be held in England.The trophy will be visiting Bangladesh's three cities - Dhaka, Sylhet and Chattogram over five days period. It will be displayed ...

Sports »

In this photo provided by the OIS/IOC, Russia's Mariya Kochanova competes in the Women's High Jump at the Athletics Field during the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Monday.

International »

Maldives court rejects Yameen's secret witnesses

AFP, Colombo :The Maldives' top court rejected on Tuesday three "secret" witnesses offered by President Abdulla Yameen in his petition to have his September election defeat annulled, in what is likely a major blow to his case.The refusal came as the Supreme Court concluded its hearings, which also saw Yameen ...

Business & Economy »

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies

AFP, San Francisco :Paul Allen, who founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in the 1970s and later went on to become an investor, philanthropist and sports team owner, died Monday after his latest battle with cancer at age 65."My brother was a remarkable individual on every level. While most knew Paul ...

Entertainment »

Being married to Tom Crusie kept me from being sexually harassed: Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman says she had married Tom Cruise for love and tying the knot with the actor inadvertently shielded her from being sexually harassed in Hollywood. The 51-year-old actor, who was married to Cruise for 11 years, said after their divorce in 2001, she had to start looking after herself. ...

Editorial »

Question paper leakage continues: Incompetence is everywhere

QUESTION paper leaks have become epidemic before all public exams, university admission tests, and job recruitment tests during the current administration allegedly by some students and unscrupulous teachers along with office staffs. Detectives in recent times busted dens of criminals involved in the question leakage but the unholy nexus between ...

Football »

US headed to Women's World Cup with 6-0 win over Jamaica

AP, Frisco :The U.S. women's national team breezed through CONCACAF qualifying to secure a spot in the World Cup next year in France.The Americans still have to face Canada."Just because we qualified for the World Cup doesn't mean we're going to take our foot off the gas," Alex Morgan said. ...

Cricket »

India ready to unleash 'fearless' Shaw, Pant on Australia

"Fearless" young batting stars Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant will be India's special weapons during their upcoming tour of Australia, according to captain Virat Kohli.Hailing the roles of 18-year-old Shaw and 21-year-old Pant in the two-Test victory over the West Indies, Kohli said they had been given free rein to ...

International »

Saudi Arabia warns against any sanctions over missing Khashoggi case

Reuters, Washington :Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned against threats to punish it over last week's disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as European leaders piled on pressure and two more US executives scrapped plans to attend a Saudi investor conference.Khashoggi, a US resident and Washington Post columnist critical of Riyadh's policies, ...

International »

Prince Harry and wife Meghan expecting a baby

AFP, London :Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, are expecting a baby in the spring of 2019, they announced on Monday as they began a Pacific tour."The Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Sussex is ...

Entertainment »

Ranveer-Sara soak up the Swiss Sun with Rohit Shetty

Bollywood stars Ranveer Singh and Sara Ali Khan, who are in Switzerland to shoot for their upcoming action-drama Simmba, look all geared up for the weekend and their recent picture is a proof! Taking to her Instagram, Sara shared snaps from the set in which she can be seen posing ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury speaking at a rally organised by Nagorik Adhikar Andolon Forum at the Jatiya Press Club on Monday to meet its various demands including withdrawal of false cases filed against BNP Chief Begum Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman.

Editorial »

Take seriously the promise made to the editors

The Editors' Council will form a human chain in front of the National Press Club today (Monday) to press for amendments to nine sections of the Digital Security Act. Earlier, the Council postponed the same program following an assurance from three ministers including the information minister Hasanul Haq Inu that ...

Sports »

Marcelo Melo of Brazil (left) and his partner Lukasz Kubot of Poland bite their winning trophy as they pose for photographers after beating Jamie Murray of Britain and Bruno Shares of Brazil in the men's doubles final match of the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China on Sunday.

International »

Trump explains `eligibility` for those who want to come to US

PTI, Washington :US President Donald Trump has said that he wants people with merit, who can help, to enter the country and not sneak inside the border illegally."I'm very tough at the borders. We've been very tough at the borders. People have to come into our country legally, not illegally. ...

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news