Today (22nd March) we are launching a new petition calling on the EU to urgently protect farmed fish from cruelty by strengthening current EU animal welfare legislation.
Fish are sentient beings that can feel pain, fear, and stress. Yet, underwater factory farms are one of the biggest causes of animal suffering in the world. Every year in the EU, more than a billion fish are raised and slaughtered on fish farms, often in cramped, diseased conditions with little in place to protect them from pain and suffering. Many are also starved before transport and subjected to inhumane deaths.
Over the next few months, the EU will be reviewing all existing EU legislation for farmed animals. Although there are basic laws that technically apply to fish during rearing, transport and slaughter, they are completely inadequate and rarely enforced.
Dr Krzysztof Wojtas, our Head of Fish Policy, said: “This lack of effective legislation means that thousands of fish can be crammed into cages – on land or in the sea – before suffering slow, painful deaths by asphyxiation, crushing, or even being gutted alive.
“Our petition will ask the EU to put an end to these inhumane practices urgently and to become the leading voice for good fish welfare by setting a baseline of legal requirements for farmed fish, protecting them from unnecessary harm.
“I would urge our supporters to sign this important petition as soon as possible to help us make this important change for fish.”
The petition calls for legislation that ensures acceptable rearing conditions and transport methods for different species, and also provides species-specific requirements on permitted methods of stunning and bans methods of slaughter that are known to cause pain and suffering.
Add your voice by signing the petition and calling for an end to pain and suffering for farmed fish across Europe.