PAC Expresses "Serious Welfare Concerns"

PACGB News Release

The Pike Anglers Club is using Freedom of Information laws to investigate an international pike fishing competition in which fish are retained in barrels.

The move comes after talks broke down with organisers of the Erne International Pike Fishing Classic.

The PAC yesterday said it had "serious welfare concerns" over the running of the event.

These centre on the methods used to retain pike and stewarding arrangements.

"We have been told by an organiser that they were advised by fisheries scientists that barrels without aeration were the safest way to retain pike during this competition," a spokesman said.

"We have been given no more information on who these scientists are, what qualifications they possess or what advice was given, so we are now using the FOI Act to obtain this information, before deciding our next move."

Requests have been submitted under the FOI Act to Fermanagh District Council, Waterways Ireland and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

Talks between the PAC and organisers broke down in April after a meeting at Enniskillen Town Hall ended in acrimony.

The PAC says is willing to return to the negotiating table if organisers are prepared to commit to change.

But it has warned it will have no alternative but back calls for a boycott of the event if progress can not be made.