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RSPCA Policy E08 Fish and aquatic invertebrates

Article ID: 428
Last updated: 07 Dec, 2010
Revision: 1
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8.1 Fish
8.1.1
RSPCA Australia considers that the available scientific evidence demonstrates that fish are sentient animals capable of experiencing pain and suffering. Fish must therefore be treated humanely and practices that have the potential to cause pain, injury or suffering avoided.
8.1.2 RSPCA Australia believes that fish should be uniformly protected under state and territory animal welfare legislation.

See A9.4 (Housing of companion animals) Fish
See C8 Angling
See B2.2 Aquaculture

8.2  Fishing methods
8.2.1 RSPCA Australia advocates the use of fishing methods and equipment that minimise pain and suffering and avoid injury for both target and non-target animals
8.2.2 Fish caught for food or other consumptive purposes must be killed humanely as soon as possible after capture.

8.2.3

RSPCA Australia is opposed to fishing methods such as drift net and long-line fishing which result in indiscriminate and non-target deaths (by-catch).
8.2.4 RSPCA Australia believes there is a continuing need to improve the humaneness of current methods for the capture and killing of fish and supports further research and development in this area.
8.2.5
RSPCA Australia supports the compulsory regulation of minimum standards for the design and use of all types of fishing nets, with specific attention being given to the provision of escape mechanisms and other strategies to reduce by-catch and other non-target effects.
8.3
Shark nets
8.3.1 RSPCA Australia is opposed to the use of shark nets for beach protection because they result in the deaths of marine mammals, rays, sharks, turtles and other animals (see also E2.10).
8.4 Aquatic invertebrates
8.4.1 RSPCA Australia considers that the available scientific evidence indicates that there are some species of aquatic invertebrates that may be capable of experiencing pain and suffering. These include cephalopods (octopus, squid and cuttlefish) and some large crustaceans (lobsters, crayfish and crabs). These animals should therefore be treated humanely and practices that have the potential to cause pain, injury or suffering avoided.
8.4.2 RSPCA Australia believes that these species should be uniformly protected under state and territory animal welfare legislation.

See B2.2 Aquaculture
See Position paper G1 Humane killing and processing of crustaceans


(adopted 06/12/10)

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RSPCA Policy E07 Wildlife research       Wild animals - glossary of terms