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SALMON

1. An adequate water supply of suitable quality for the fish must be available in salmon hatcheries and in tanks for older fish (Paragraph 26).

2. Systems for providing an adequate supply of good quality water in hatcheries and for growing fish in tanks, must have alarms to indicate malfunction, must be inspected regularly and should be monitored carefully (Paragraph 27).

3. Hatcheries, equipment and tanks should be properly cleaned between batches (Paragraph 28).

4. Sites for sea cages and the design of the cage must be chosen so as to avoid unacceptable conditions for the fish in good or bad weather (Paragraph 29).

5. Outdoor tanks and sea cages should have adequate means for protection of the fish from predators (Paragraph 30).

6. The requirements of salmon for environmental stimulation should be investigated (Paragraph 31).

7. Netting used in the construction of sea cages should present a smooth surface to limit injuries to the fish. Studies should be carried out to find out how to minimise injuries to the snout and fins of salmon in cages (Paragraph 32).

8. An adequate method for the daily removal of dead and moribund fish from tanks and sea cages must be available (Paragraph 33).

9. Automatic feeding systems must be properly maintained and should be inspected every day where weather permits (Paragraph 34).

10. Feeding of fish should be such that the quality, quantity and frequency are optimal for their stage of development. The early feeding of fry and young fish should be monitored (Paragraph 80).

11. Food should be distributed evenly and widely so that it reaches the maximum number of fish. Better systems for the provision of adequate amounts of food to all fish should be developed (Paragraph 81).

12. Fish should not be totally deprived of food except during a period of up to 72 hours before slaughter for food hygiene reasons, or where the overall effect of food deprivation is an improvement in fish welfare (Paragraph 82).

13. The period during which fish may be deprived of food prior to certain management procedures must be kept to a minimum and should normally not exceed 72 hours (Paragraph 83).

14. There should be scientific research carried out on the interrelationships between food distribution, fish size and fish welfare (Paragraph 84).

15. During the stripping and milking processes the number of times a fish is handled and exposed to sedation should be minimised to avoid undue skin injury and stress (Paragraph 102).:

16. If live fish are stripped an effective anaesthetic must be used, and must be maintained at the correct concentration throughout the procedure (Paragraph 103).

17. Where compressed air is used to assist stripping in live fish they must be fully anaesthetised (Paragraph 104).

18. The stripping and milking processes should be carried out by fully trained and competent personnel (Paragraph 105).

19. Eggs should be inspected soon after fertilisation and frequently thereafter for signs of fungal infestation (Paragraph 111).

20. Fry should be inspected regularly, preferably daily, for signs of disease and parasites. Where these are detected there should be rapid investigations and suitable treatment should be instigated promptly (Paragraph 112).

21. High standards of hygiene must be observed within hatcheries to prevent the transmission of disease (Paragraph 113).

22. There must be an adequate supply of water of a quality that is suitable for the fish (Paragraph 114).

23. The stocking densities in hatcheries should allow for adequate oxygen provision for each fish (Paragraph 115).

24. The stocking density must allow fish to show most normal behaviour with minimal pain, stress and fear. Pending scientific research on the welfare of salmon in sea cages, 15 kg/m should be considered as an acceptable stocking rate. Higher densities may also be acceptable for short periods prior to slaughter and during treatment for disease and parasites (Paragraph 121).

25. Research should be undertaken urgently to determine acceptable maximum stocking densities taking account of factors referred to in paragraph 120 and including objective measures of the welfare of the fish. These results should be available within five years, at which point we expect to recommend the introduction of legislation to limit stocking densities (Paragraph 122).

26. Efforts should be made to reduce mortality between the parr stage and slaughter by improving existing management systems and developing systems which are better for fish welfare (Paragraph 123).

27. Aquaculture systems should be designed such that disease is minimised (Paragraph 182).

28. Fish in holding units should be inspected daily by experienced personnel for signs of disease in the stock and any necessary action must be taken immediately (Paragraph 183).

29. The industry should endeavour to develop better methods of inspecting fish to recognise those which are diseased, distressed or dead (Paragraph 184).

30. During an outbreak of disease where the cause of death is not immediately apparent, laboratory examination should be carried out to enable treatment to the remaining fish to be initiated (Paragraph 185).

31. Health certified or vaccinated stock should be used wherever possible (Paragraph 186).

32. Farmers should practice routine disinfection of equipment and clothing of personnel to reduce the risk of transfer of disease (Paragraph 187).

33. Leaving sites fallow will reduce the risk of disease or parasite transmission. Management agreements with other operators to fallow wider areas before restocking will reduce this risk level as will information exchange about disease (Paragraph 188).

34. Stocking density must be kept within manageable levels for the holding facilities (Paragraph 189).

35. Handling must be minimised so as to lessen susceptibility to disease (Paragraph 190).

36. Holding units should be cleaned and disinfected once all fish are removed (Paragraph 191).

37. Different year classes should be kept on separate sites to avoid cross infection (Paragraph 192).

38. National disease control should be maintained and outbreaks of any serious diseases should be reported to the national authority (Paragraph 193).

39. Staff employed in the killing of fish must have the knowledge and skill to perform the task humanely and efficiently regardless of the method employed as required by the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995 (Paragraph 244).

40. Fish must be stunned or killed before their blood vessels (gill arches) are severed for bleeding and when stunned remain insensible until death supervenes (Paragraph 245).

41. When the percussive method is used, the blow must be of sufficient force for the fish to be immediately rendered unconscious and for it to remain so until dead (Paragraph 246).

42. Those undertaking slaughter, e.g. by percussive stun or kill, must not continue if they become tired and inefficient (Paragraph 247).

43. Particular care should be taken when large fish are slaughtered using percussive stun or kill (Paragraph 248).

44. Further research is needed on the method of stunning and killing salmon, especially to find a satisfactory method of mechanical stunning or killing and alternatives to carbon dioxide as an anaesthetising or killing agent (Paragraph 249).