Liotard: “Better regulations needed for farmed fish”

28 January 2010

Liotard: “Better regulations needed for farmed fish”

“The wellbeing of human beings and of animals must be the starting points for European policy, not afterthoughts." So argues Kartika Liotard, Member of the European Parliament for the SP. "In aquaculture, which involves the intensive, industrialised production of fish for consumption, improvements in welfare have not been treated as a central task, and too little attention has been paid, also, to the environment."

Better regulations

Kartika Liotard"We must have better regulations in order to reduce pain and stress, for example in relation to stupefication and slaughter methods and the transport of live fish," says Kartika Liotard. "Many kinds of aquaculture do not in my view conform to reasonable demands relating to animal welfare. I want the European Parliament Fisheries Committee to pay more attention to this when responding to proposed new legislation. In addition, the social and economic consequences of large-scale fish farming should be kept under review. In South-East Asia people have been driven from their lands to make way for the construction of enormous shrimp farms. And biodiversity can also be harmed when escaped fish mix with wild fish or when antibiotics seep into the environment.”


Dutch animal welfare group Dierenbescherming ('Animal Protection') has declared its support for the SP Euro-MP's initiative, which comes in a report presented this week in the EP Environment Committee. "At first no-one wanted to talk about this issue, but happily that has changed," says Liotard. "It's now clear to other MEPs that it's not only a matter for fisheries interests and intensive farming, but that it also concerns public health and the interests of developing countries."

Human and animal welfare

"What struck me in the debate," she adds, "is that a number of right-wing parties are saying that the production of farmed fish in countries outside the EU, such as Chile and Vietnam, does not have to conform to the strict European rules on food safety and animal welfare, giving them an unfair competitive advantage. Happily the majority of the Parliamentary Committee agreed with me that there is more to life than competition policy. In formulating new policy, attention should be paid above all to the wellbeing of people and animals and to a sustainable environment."

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