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Current understanding of animal welfare currently excludes fish, even though fish feel pain

PHYS.ORG: ‘A leading expert in fish behaviour argues that our fundamental understanding and assessment of animal welfare must be changed to consider fish, or risk continued catastrophic impact on their welfare, in an article published today in Animal Sentience. Animal welfare is assessed on the basis of whether animals think and feel and therefore their potential to suffer, however how we assess animal sentience is still debated. “There is growing concern around the world about how we treat animals, particularly as part of the food production line. In Australia we have had a massive change in attitude towards animal welfare but for some reason the momentum stopped at the water’s edge,” said Associate Professor Culum Brown from the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University.

Scientists have definitively shown that some species of fish feel pain, but there are more than 30,000 species of fish, and so the question is whether all fish species feel pain. While researchers can’t be certain what another animal is feeling or thinking, when they are dealing with uncertainty they often use the ‘precautionary principle’ to determine whether an animal is sentient… If this approach is used, it soon becomes apparent that all fish likely feel pain just as humans do, and one of the fundamental issues with fish welfare is the sheer number of animals involved’. SOURCE…

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