THE RESEARCH FOUND that fish have receptors in their heads and that
subjecting them to noxious substances causes adverse behavioral and
This fulfils the criteria for animal pain, said Dr. Lynne
Sneddon, who headed the research, published Wednesday by the Royal Society,
Britains national academy of science.
Bee venom or acetic acid was injected into the lips of some of the
trout, while control groups of fish were injected with saline solution or
The trout injected with venom or acid began to show rocking
motion similar to that seen in stressed higher vertebrates and those
injected with acetic acid began rubbing their lips in the gravel of their
These do not appear to be reflex responses, Sneddon said.
The affected fish also took three times longer to resume feeding
activity, compared with those in the control groups.
The team from the Roslin Institute and the University of Edinburgh
found the fish had polymodal nociceptors receptors that respond to
tissue-damaging stimuli on their heads.
It is the first time these receptors have been found in fish. They
have similar properties to those found in amphibians, birds and mammals
Animal activists said the findings showed that fishing was cruel.
We would encourage anglers to lay down their rods. Its ridiculous that
in 2003 we are still talking about whether fish feel pain of course they
do, Dawn Carr of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals told Sky
But anglers vowed to keep on enjoying their sport.
Until we have proper, bona fide evidence, we will never know. Its
supposition, said Charles Jardine, director of pro-angling group Gone
Fishing. I dont think the millions of anglers throughout the whole of the
world would see themselves as cruel individuals.
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