Fish Feel Pain Fact or Fiction

In: Other Topics

Submitted By briibaby510
Words 653
Pages 3
Research shows that fish respond to painful stimuli in a manner that is not just a simple reflex. In the article “Hooked on a Myth” by Victoria Braithwaite, biologists say “We shouldn’t be so quick to believe that fish don’t feel pain.” The Standing Committee of the European Convention for the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes explains, "The skin of the fish is the first line of defence against disease and provides protection from the environment. It contains sensory receptors for touch, pressure and pain." In his book Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good, animal behaviorist Jonathan Balcombe, explains how fish are falsely, yet "commonly denied feeling" perhaps because of "their relative lack of facial expression." He states: When they are impaled on a hook, fish don't scream or grimace, though their gaping mouths may evoke a look of shock or horror to the empathetic witness. Using facial expression as a guide for sentience is hardly valid when one considers that some of the most intelligent and highly sentient marine vertebrates namely the dolphins and whales also lack facial expression. However, animals have many other ways of visually signaling their feelings. Crests, dewlaps, mouth-pages, pupil dilation and contraction, color changes, and body postures and movements are among the many visual ways fish and other animals convey emotions. Water is also a potent medium for communicating through chemicals and sounds. Dr. Balcombe examines studies as they relate to animals' sentience, including all that have been conducted on fish. His comprehensive scientific review documents that fish without a doubt feel pain and can suffer.
A recent study found that when noxious substances were applied to the lips of trout, the fishes' heart rate increased, and they took longer to resume feeding. These fish also showed unusual behavior after…...

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