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Fish feel pain !!!!!!!!

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Andy Macfarlane:

The antis will always look like idiots until they wear grass skirts and woolen shoes. This mob are just as guilty of animal "cruelty" as we are. These people are not Vegans, they do wear leather, they do use their cars, the dont bury thier sewage and farm thier own food. They simply talk s***e. These people have nothing to do except feel lonely and bored and it is thier own inadequacies that make them take thier hate out on people they won't be around.

Lets not start with ..."oh fishing will be banned!" It won't be and neither will trawling or anything else deemed wholesome. The antis compare Fox-hunting to Angling when there is no comparison. The lowly Fox is an advanced Mammal that is hunted by 200 tons of thoroughbred Horse stock and bugle playing drunks with blood on thier pork-pies. Fishing at least has a sense of fairplay. I,m in no way worried since I have fished for 20 years without ever having my sport condemmed by the general public. I,m sure if I took up Badger baiting I would hear some pretty choice words. Cheer up and get yerselves out there.



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Received this from Graham Mole:


Hello all,

I'm the fishing journalist who broke the original story that fish don't feel pain. It was done by Professor Rose of the University of Wyoming.

I wrote it for Trout and Salmon and it was then followed up, as you know, by other print media.

Having been contacted by everyone at the Beeb from the Today programme downwards (!) I sent the Sneddon report to Professor Rose.


This is his reply: Graham,


As you might have guessed, I've been contacted by several writers about the Sneddon paper already.  I've copied, for your information, my reply to a writer for Nature.



The Royal Society paper by Sneddon, et al. does not actually deal with pain. It deals only with nociception. I have already addressed the kinds of conceptual confusions that undermine the paper by Sneddon et al. in my 2002 Reviews in Fisheries Science Paper. They did not cite this paper and apparently haven't read it.


The flaws in their argument include the following. Their definitions of pain and nociception are misleading. Pain, as defined by investigators who study it (e.g. the International Association for the Study of Pain) is purely a conscious experience, with a sensory and emotional component. The detection, processing and transmission of information related to injury is nociception, unconscious and not pain. Contrary to the assertions of Sneddon, et al. behaviors more complex than reflexes are are frequently purely nociceptive as well. For example, humans with extensive damage or dysfunction of the neocortex in the cerebral hemispheres can still make facial displays, vocalizations, and show struggling and avoidance reactions in response to nociceptive stimuli, but they are unconscious and unable to experience pain. By the definition of pain used by Sneddon et al. it would be concluded that these unconscious humans are feeling pain rather than making purely nociceptive responses, which is clearly erroneous. Secondly, a sustained change in behaavioral activity in response to a sustained nociceptive stimulus (like the bee venom or acid injection in the jaw), shows nothing more that that behavior can be persistently changed if a nociceptive stumulus is sustained. In light of the probable intensity and sustained nature of this noxious stimulus, it is quite likely that a physiological and/or endocrine stress response was elicited in the trout to a much greater degree than procedues to which control fish were exposed. A physiological response of this type is known to alter the ongoing behavior and physiological function of trout and is perfectly understandable, but it is not evidence of a pain experience. I'm quite surprised that the authors of this paper didn't thoroughly consider the confounding implications of the likelihood of a physiological and/or endocrine stress response.


In order to show that a fish experiences pain it is necessary to show that a fish has consciousness. Without consciousness, there is no pain. Nothing in the information presented in this paper necessitates predication of consciousness for its explanation. Furthermore, from the extensive knowledge that exists on the neural basis of consciousness, there is no basis for assuming that a fish might have such a capacity. Only anthropomorphic speculation would lead one to conclude that the trout in this study are experiencing pain. Complex behaviors are known to occur without conscious mediation, even in humans, and the fact that there are nociceptive reactions of trout to sustained, noxioius stimuli in no way justifies a conclusion that these fish have a capacity for the conscious experience of pain.




Jim Rose


James D. Rose, Ph.D.

Department of Zoology and Physiology

University of Wyoming

Laramie, WY 82071


Phone: 307-766-6719

Fax: 307-766-5625

e-mail: [email protected]

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Just a quick line on something I just thought. How many of you anglers out there have caught the same fish TWICE on the same day, and why are large carp named and identified, to be caught over and over again, if they feel pain. I don't think so!

Last week I caught a 151lb Common Skate and we re-captured her again after 30 minutes. So she came up 300 foot, was cleanly gaffed, tagged and returned only to be immediately feeding again. And that's an first caught wild fish.
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There is only one sure way to prove that fish can feel pain and that would be to injour a fish then kill it and do an ortopsy.

Get a chemist to detect endorphines or other natual pain killers.

If none exist then evolution dictates there is no way that they could feel pain, on a level that can be as we or mamals understand it.

If they find any I will believe it.


"Wisdom is the knowledge of how little we know"


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I'll let you all into a little secret if you promise not to tell...


I am also cruel to my plants !!!!


It is curious that I was cruel three times to either a single rudd or three identical, damaged rudd on Saturday. Surely there is only so much pain a fish could take. Maybe fish are masochistic... my God that opens up new avenues. Maybe we should charge them!


On Radio 4 (between 6 and 7) the female researcher thought that it would be OK to kill the fish after inflicting pain on it. GASP

Now that really would make me give it all up.


I can see that fish feel. They react to the feeling, otherwise I have just wasted a perfectly good worm. But my presence at a bankside swim is less that the presence of a pike. Who is perceived as the worst threat?


I just hope someone said sorry to the poor bloody trout with a bee sting in his lip.

"Muddlin' along"

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Personally I would have to agree in part with the fact that fish can feel a certain amount of pain as, if like me and you've done a spot of canal work then them little persh will swallow anything that will fit in their mouths. Occasionally they get well deep hooked and the fish does seem to have an aversion to the hook being removed, they curl up and it has to said it looks painfull.

On the other hand last week in Fan Lodge at Bikershaw I had a tench to about 5lb that had to be kept on the bank for getting on for ten minutes as I removed seven, yes seven hooks from it's mouth not counting my own varying from 22's to 10's. During this period the fish just stared at me and didn't stir at all during the operation. Some of the hooks were rusty so had been there while and I have to say it appeared to feel nothing:D:D:D

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I watched the disgraceful display put up by the presenters on the BBC brakfast news who seemed to delight in attcking angling dispite the fact that the spokeswoman from compassion in world farming was only concerned with highlighting excess in the fish farm business, where the fish are treated with chemicals to prevent parasites and they are kept in overcrowded pens. Even when she was goaded by the presenters about what she thought about angling she continued her line regarding the welfare of fish in farms. I think she understood that when it comes to fish welfare it is better to have anglers on board as we are a big pressure group that has the welfare of fish close to our hearts.

take a look at my blog


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Sorry about this posting on other sites as well


OK guys breaking news - BBC Northwest Tonight ran a story on this subject interview Dr. Sneddon who said what’s reported on here. Also interviewed Matin James.


Five minute slot stressing the pain angle.


However, what they failed to point out was the fact that Prof Rose issued his report some months ago. In fact they made no reference to any other report at all.


Now this is bias, the BBBC has a legal obligation to be even-handed with its reporting.


It didn’t do this, therefore it’s showing bias to one point of view.


It at the time of Rose’s report failed to report this report at all - Bias again!


I’ve already been on the phone and complained to them about it, so could others do so ASAP.


The No is 0161 200 2020 ask for the Newsdesk for TV.


I’m going to make a formal complaint to the Brodcasting Standards Authority over this blatant bias reporting.

phil h.

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Did my interview on Radio Suffolk this morning and thanks to having contacted the NFA for advice and information I don't think it went too badly. As I hit them straight away with the alternative reasearch they changes tack to the number of dead and injured fish that occured through the inevitable accidents. As it was a type of chat show programme I was interested to hear the feedback. Unfortunately work got in the way so i didn't hear too much of it but most of what I heard was supportive. I heard Peter Wallers response so perhaps he listened to the whole thing and can let us know how it went overall.By the way Peter, well done for getting the interviewer to admit he had some fishing gear in his garage.The whole thing just underlines the need for all anglers to belong to recognised groups and sites such as this. The information is there for us to use and you never know when you are going to need it. Thank god for people like Bruno and Elton, many thanks for all your help and support.

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