Compassion co-host ‘Don’t Forget Fish’ Parliamentary event
Earlier this week (21st March), we co-hosted a Parliamentary reception, together with The Humane League UK, the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF), the RSPCA and the Soil Association to highlight the lack of legal protection for farmed fish at the time of slaughter in the UK. Hosted by crossbench Peer Lord Trees, the event called for the 55 million fish farmed annually in the UK – including 12 million trout in England – to be given the equivalent legal protections at slaughter to those afforded to terrestrial farmed animals.
Don’t forget fish
The event, which was the first ever Parliamentary reception on farmed fish welfare, was supported by Parliamentarians, other NGOs, vets, industry representatives and celebrities.
Whilst many producers have already introduced practices to protect fish welfare during slaughter, these are voluntary, meaning that measures such as species-specific pre-stunning are not yet required by law. Therefore, the slaughter of huge numbers of UK animals is currently going unregulated each year.
Change is needed
Natasha Boyland, our Fish Policy and Research Manager, who attended the event, commented: “Fish are intelligent, sentient animals capable of suffering and feeling pain, yet UK farmed animal welfare legislation is failing them. This must change.
“Humane slaughter methods are available and are already being used by many producers in the UK aquaculture industry. However, without adequate legislation in place vast numbers of fish are still at risk of severe suffering during slaughter.
“We call on the UK Government to step up and protect millions of animals each year, by introducing welfare regulations for farmed fish at the time of killing as a priority.”
Progress from the Government is long overdue on this issue, and we hope that they will now see the broad calls for better regulations and act upon them.
Find out more about our Rethink Fish campaign work.