Wednesday, MEPs, scientists and NGO representatives met in the EU Parliament to discuss fish welfare. The event, titled “How to put fish welfare at the heart of the EU aquaculture,” was hosted by MEPs John Flack (ECR, UK) and Anja Hazekamp (GUE/NGL, Netherlands), and organised by the international NGO Compassion in World Farming.
Dr Krzysztof Wojtas, Head of Fish Policy at Compassion in World Farming, said: “Millions of fish are silently suffering out of sight in vast underwater factory farms throughout Europe. Many are also being slaughtered in the most gruesome of ways. EU citizens want better protection for fish, so it is encouraging to see MEPs supporting our Rethink Fish campaign. This is an important step towards improving fish welfare.”
John Flack, MEP and a Patron of the British Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, said:
“Our compassion should not just be for the cute and cuddly. We know so much more than previous generations about the way fish experience pain and distress, and we have a responsibility to treat them decently and humanely. Today’s event has raised awareness of the issues surrounding factory farmed and wild caught fish and has outlined positive strides that can be taken to improve their welfare. It is one step forward on a long road.”
MEP Anja Hazekamp said: “Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence proving that fish are able to experience pain, despite the call from the European Parliament to resolve any animal welfare problems, and despite the growing concern amongst European citizens for the welfare of fish, we have not seen a lot of action from the side of the Commission yet. We urgently need effective rules for protecting the welfare of fish. The numbers of fish affected is high and the suffering of these animals at all stages of their lives is enormous.”
Find out more at Rethink.Fish