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Compassion hosts fish welfare conference

News Section Icon Published 26/09/2016

On Wednesday 21st September Compassion hosted a fish welfare conference entitled “Science, Welfare Issues and Raising the Profile”.

The event was a unique opportunity for NGOs to come together to learn more about the issues of both farmed and wild fish welfare, and to share ideas and strategies for positive change.

Despite being the most numerous farmed animal (check out for estimates), the welfare of fish has historically been low on both the legislative agenda and in the public consciousness. There is promising work taking place in some quarters – and in some leading corporates – but much more needs to be done.

Compassion’s conference brought together specialists in the field of fish welfare to cover topics including sentience, ethology, farming systems and slaughter.

Speakers included:

  • Phil Brooke – Welfare and Education Development Manager, Compassion in World Farming
  • Dr. Janicke Nordgreen – Senior Research Fellow, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
  • Dr. Hans van de Vis – Senior Scientist, Wageningen Livestock Research
  • Dr. Jeff Lines - Silsoe Livestock Systems
  • Prof. Jimmy Turnbull - Professor of Aquatic Population Health and Welfare, University of Stirling
  • Prof. Bo Algers - Professor emeritus in Animal Hygiene, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Isabel Griffiths - Standards Manager, Soil Association

Fish can suffer greatly in intensive farming systems, just like any other animal. There has sometimes been a casual assumption that fish cannot feel pain, which has been proven not to be true. From spawning to slaughter, we need to start paying fish the attention they deserve.

Want to find out more? We recommend ‘What a fish knows: The inner lives of our underwater cousins’ by Jonathan Balcombe and ‘Do fish feel pain?’ by Victoria Braithwaite.


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