11-13-07, 11:45 AM #1
can fish feel pain?
New research has shown that goldfish can remember pain for at least a day, shattering the widespread misconception that these fish have a three-second memory span yet again.
Peter Laming, Sarah Millsopp and Rebecca Dunlop of the Queen's University in Belfast are to publish the results of a new study in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science which says that goldfish can learn to avoid parts of their tank in which they receive electric shocks for at least 24 hours.
Trout showed similar responses to the shocks, but strayed into the areas in which shocks were administered more frequently than goldfish.
Dunlop told The Telegraph: "Angling is not considered to be a cruel sport as it has been assumed that fish cannot perceive pain. Rather it is a reflex action.
"This paper shows that pain avoidance in fish does not seem to be a reflex response, rather one that is learned, remembered and is changed according to different circumstances. Therefore, if fish can perceive pain, then angling cannot be continued to be considered a non-cruel sport."
And then there are lobsters who are hideously boiled alive and prawns that actually feel pain despite being invertebrates.
STOP THIS TORTURE NOW!
11-13-07, 11:50 AM #2
I always thought boiling lobsters and crabs live was cruel. What is the big deal killing them quickly first? It doesn't take long to kill them. They sure taste good once their done.
11-13-07, 11:52 AM #3
I watch Iron Chef and I'm always shocked when they start chopping it in half or tearing the tail off when its still alive.
Boiling it doesn't bother me. Its a fairly quick death.
11-13-07, 11:56 AM #4
I can't watch iron chef. It freaks me out. There was one episode where a chef was chopping up an octopus. It kept trying to get away. The individual legs were crawling out of the bowl. I know it was mostly reflexes but eeww!
11-13-07, 11:57 AM #5
Yes, fish feel pain. This discussion has taken place already some time ago though..
11-13-07, 12:05 PM #6
I don't think fish feel pain the way we consider pain to be felt.
Anyone who has gone fishing and hooked a fish knows that they fight against the line, tugging, pulling and generally applying as much pressure to the hook and line as they can.
Now imagine if you had a hook in your mouth. Would you be tugging, pulling and applying pressure to the hook?
11-13-07, 12:09 PM #7
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11-13-07, 02:25 PM #14
While I can't say definitively that fish do not feel pain I tend to agree with Dr. Rose. Fish might feel something but I don't think it is what humans call pain.
"Do fish feel pain?
The world's foremost expert on the subject is Dr. James D. Rose of the University of Wyoming. He's spent 30 years working on questions of neurology, examining data on the responses of animals to painful stimuli. In 2003 Rose published a landmark study in the journal Reviews of Fisheries Science, concluding that animals need specific regions of the cerebral cortex in order to feel pain. And fish do not have them.
But doesn't it hurt to have a hook in your mouth?
There's a big difference between pain and the perception of pain (which scientists call "nociception"). Dr. Rose explained to London's Telegraph newspaper:
"Pain is predicated on awareness … A person who is anaesthetized in an operating theatre will still respond physically to an external stimulus, but he or she will not feel pain. Anyone who has seen a chicken with its head cut off will know that, while its body can respond to stimuli, it cannot be feeling pain."
I don't imagine animal-rights activists are very fond of Dr. Rose.
Right you are. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), for instance, operates a misleading "Fishing Hurts" propaganda campaign based on the work of a few "neutral" experts. (PETA says Dr. Rose isn't neutral because he enjoys fishing.) One of PETA's experts is a "Professor of Animal Welfare" who also believes it's cruel to raise faster-growing cows and turkeys. Another is a microbiologist who claims it's "unthinkable that fish do not have pain receptors" -- despite having done no scientific work with fish -- and equates our "lack of justice and compassion to other animals" with human slavery.
It's worth noting that PETA has sought fishing bans in state parks and called for a Constitutional amendment protecting fish. In 2005 when PETA tried to scare fishermen away from their sport by claiming fish contain "poison," campaign director Bruce Friedrich admitted his strategy on an animal-rights mailing list: "For people who don't care about the suffering of fish, I suspect this will terrify them into not eating them."
What about lobsters and crabs? Do they feel pain when they're boiled or steamed?
A 2005 Norwegian study reported that lobsters and crabs don't have the capacity to feel pain either. The British Guardian newspaper detailed the study's findings, explaining that lobsters and crabs have only about 100 thousand neurons. Many vertebrates have upwards of 100 billion. "
11-13-07, 02:29 PM #15
Of course they fish feel pain, they have to. Crustaceans might not be as sensitive because they have an external skeleton.
My friends in the Chesapeake Bay are kind to the crabs they eat. Before boiling they cut their face off with scissors.
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