The European Commission has announced that it will open a new centre to support EU countries to better protect the welfare of farmed fish - a welcomed commitment that could help improve the lives of these often-neglected animals.
Good step forward
EU reference centres aim to improve the enforcement of animal welfare legislation. Animal reference centres have already been set up for the welfare of pigs, poultry and other small farmed animals, as well as cows and horses.
The new reference centre for farmed fish would provide scientific and technical expertise to EU member states when carrying out official controls in the field of animal welfare.
Olga Kikou, our Head of EU, said: “Plans for this new centre are a good step forward for fish welfare. It shows that the repeated calls by citizens and the dialogue with the EU institutions are starting to bear fruit."
"The EU Commission is finally turning its attention to the welfare of these neglected creatures," she added. "This is a good omen in the context of the revision of the animal welfare legislation, as fish must be afforded legal protection.”
We need higher standards for fish farming
While we welcome these moves, we also call on the Commission to establish high standards for fish farming in the upcoming revision of the animal welfare legislation.
This week we also handed a petition calling for new standards to protect fish welfare in the EU to the European Commission. Signed by more than 150, 000 people, the petition, was supported by WeMove and Essere Animali.
Farmed fish welfare legislation is crucial to ensure that all farmed fish benefit from humane slaughter, gentle handling, good water quality and environments that meet their needs.
Learn more about our Rethink Fish campaign.