Friday, April 13, 2012

Compassionate Killing of Fish

 If you raise fish for food you will need to kill them.  
There are many methods.  
Some are cruel and inhuman.  
Below you will find links that demonstrate how to kill your fish.

Aqui-S is a safe and easy solution which appeals to me.

The following is an excerpt from:

A Report for
Philip Lymbery
Animal Welfare Consultant
February 2001

Starvation & Slaughter

Farmed fish are normally starved for about 7-10 days before slaughter. It is said that
this is to empty their gut and minimize the risk of the flesh becoming contaminated
when gutted. However, gut clearance only takes 24-72 hours. Farmed fish are
conditioned over months and years to expect frequent and plentiful feed. To suddenly
cut off that feed is likely to be detrimental to their welfare. CIWF Trust believes that
starvation periods of longer than 72 hours should be prohibited.

About 40 million salmon and 30 million trout are slaughtered annually in the UK.
That represents more animals than all the pigs, sheep, cattle and turkeys killed
altogether. Some widely used slaughter methods for farmed fish cause appalling
suffering. So much so that the perpetrators would be prosecuted if they were
slaughtering other farm animals in a similar way. Widely used slaughter methods in
the trout industry, for example, include the suffocation of fish in air or on ice. In the
latter method, the cooling effect of the ice prolongs the time it takes for the fish to
become unconscious, with fish being able to feel what is happening to them almost 15
minutes after being taken out of the water. The Government’s advisory Farm Animal
Welfare Council (1996) condemned this killing method, recommending that it be
prohibited. Nearly five years on, it remains widely used.

Another inhumane slaughter method often used for salmon and trout is the use of
carbon dioxide stunning. The bath of carbon dioxide saturated water causes the fish
to thrash around the killing container. They stop moving after 30 seconds, but do not
lose consciousness for 4-9 minutes. Salmon usually have their gills cut after stunning
and are allowed to bleed to death. The prolonged procedure is inhumane in itself.
However, as carbon dioxide causes immobility long before unconsciousness, there is
a real danger that fish remain conscious but unable to move as they are bleeding to

Inhumane and totally unacceptable slaughter methods, that can take a long time for
fish to lose consciousness and die, should be prohibited urgently. These include
suffocating fish in air or on ice, bleeding to death without pre-stunning, and the use of
carbon dioxide for stunning.

Only slaughter methods that cause an instant death or render the fish instantly
insensible to pain until dead should be permitted. These include percussive stunning
techniques whereby fish are rendered instantly unconscious when carried out
Also electrocution methods where properly designed and carried out
effectively. In the case of electrocution, the electric current must be sufficient to stun
and kill the fish otherwise considerable suffering could result.

Further information can be found at

These videos show how it can be done and demonstrate the difficulty involved.
How to Perform a Head Spike 
How to Bleed a Fish after the Head Spike
Clubbing a Large Fish
Clubbing and Bleeding
Cutting the Head Off
The Humane Way to Kill a Cray
Still Alive and Feeling Pain?

While searching for this information I found some of the most disgusting and cruel video where people were amused at the pain, and suffering of various animals.  I don't even wish to understand what these people were thinking.   Please be as humane as possible.

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