Fish Farming: Animal Welfare

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 25 October 2023.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether her Department plans to bring forward legislative proposals to regulate (a) the stunning and (b) other aspects of the welfare of farmed fish.

Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Current legislation already provides protection for farmed fish kept for the production of meat or other products whilst on farm and during transport. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes it an offence either to cause any captive animal unnecessary suffering or to fail to provide for welfare needs. Legislation on the protection of animals at the time of killing requires that farmed fish are spared avoidable pain, distress or suffering during their killing and related operations.

The Animal Welfare Committee has updated its 2014 Opinion on the welfare of farmed fish at the time of killing and we are studying the recommendations carefully to determine next steps.

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