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TROUT

45. When siting a trout farm the producer must take all reasonable steps to ensure that an adequate water supply of suitable quality will be available for all fish at all times (Paragraph 43).

46. Water supplies for trout hatcheries, whether ground water or not, must be suitable for the fish in terms of the temperature, dissolved gas content, pH, chemical quality, sediment levels and levels of pathogens and parasites (Paragraph 44).

47. The design of farm facilities should take account of welfare issues and, in particular, ensure that injury is not caused to the fish (Paragraph 45).

48. Outdoor holding facilities should adequately protect the fish from predators (Paragraph 46).

49. The requirements of trout for environmental stimulation should be investigated (Paragraph 47).

50. Automatic equipment such as water pumps and aeration systems must be monitored and incorporate alarms to indicate malfunction. Automatic feeding systems must be properly maintained and should be inspected daily (Paragraph 48).

51. Hatcheries, equipment and tanks, and further growth facilities should be properly cleaned and disinfected between batches of eggs or fish. Earth ponds should be emptied of fish and water and left fallow at suitable intervals (Paragraph 49).

52. An adequate method for daily removal of dead and moribund fish from tanks, ponds and raceways must be available (Paragraph 50).

53. Fish should only be kept in the outflow channel if the quality of the water there is high (Paragraph 51).

54. Feeding of fish should be such that the quality, quantity and frequency is optimum for their stage of development. It is important to monitor the early feeding of fry and young fish (Paragraph 91).

55. 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 92).

56. Depriving trout of food prior to certain management procedures should be to achieve gut evacuation and not to adjust body composition, and the period should normally not exceed 48 hours (Paragraph 93).

57. Trout should not be totally deprived of food except during a period of up to 48 hours before slaughter for food hygiene reasons, or where the overall effect of food deprivation is an improvement in fish welfare (Paragraph 94).

58. There should be scientific research carried out on the interrelationships between food distribution, fish size and fish welfare (Paragraph 95).

59. 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; effective anaesthetics must be used and these must be maintained at an effective concentration throughout sedation and anaesthesia (Paragraph 127).

60. Where compressed air is used to assist stripping, the fish must be fully anaesthetised, or dead (Paragraph 128).

61. The stripping and milking processes should be carried out by fully trained and competent personnel (Paragraph 129).

62. Male trout must be humanely killed before removal of their testes (Paragraph 130).

63. The use of hormones in sex inversion must be carefully controlled, under veterinary supervision, and should be carried out by fully trained and competent personnel (Paragraph 132).

64. Shock treatment of eggs, which is used in the production of triploid fish, should be employed only by fully trained and competent personnel (Paragraph 134).

65. Eggs should be inspected soon after fertilisation and frequently thereafter for signs of fungal infestation (Paragraph 137).

66. 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 138).

67. High standards of hygiene must be observed within hatcheries to prevent the transmission of disease (Paragraph 139).

68. There must be an adequate supply of water of a quality that is suitable for the eggs and fry (Paragraph 140).

69. The stocking densities in hatcheries should allow for adequate oxygen provision for each fish (Paragraph 141).

70. The stocking density must allow fish to show most normal behaviour with minimal pain, stress and fear. Scientific research is needed on the effect of stocking density on fish welfare but it seems that 30-40 kg/m is too high a stocking rate for trout. Higher densities may be acceptable for short periods prior to slaughter and during treatment for disease and parasites (Paragraph 144).

71. Research should be undertaken urgently to determine acceptable maximum stocking densities taking account of factors referred to in paragraph 143 of the report 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 145).

72. Efforts should be made to monitor trout mortality accurately and to develop management methods and stocking densities which reduce it (Paragraph 146).

73. Aquaculture systems should be designed such that disease is minimised (Paragraph 197).

74. 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 198).

75. The industry should develop better methods of inspecting fish to recognise those which are diseased, distressed or dead (Paragraph 199).

76. During an outbreak of disease where the cause of death is not immediately apparent, laboratory examination should be carried out to enable treatment of the remaining fish to be initiated (Paragraph 200).

77. Health certified or vaccinated stock should be used wherever possible (Paragraph 201).

78. Farmers should carry out routine disinfection of equipment and clothing of personnel to reduce the risk of transfer of disease (Paragraph 202).

79. Fallowing sites will reduce the risk of disease and parasite transmission (Paragraph 203).

80. Stocking density should be kept within manageable levels for the holding facilities (Paragraph 204).

81. Handling should be minimised so as to lessen susceptibility to disease (Paragraph 205).

82. Holding units should be cleaned and disinfected once all fish are removed (Paragraph 206).

83. National disease controls should be maintained and outbreaks of any serious disease should be reported to the national authority (Paragraph 207).

84. Trout must be killed in a humane way and the widely used method of leaving the animals to suffocate in air is not acceptable. This situation and the need for control by legislation should be reviewed in the near future (Paragraph 254).

85. A satisfactory method of slaughtering trout en masse which renders them insensible instantaneously until death supervenes is urgently required. There should be research to develop acceptable methods of humanely killing trout, for example electrical methods. The method should be used in water or immediately after the fish are removed from water (Paragraph 255).

86. Staff employed in slaughter 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 and Killing) Regulations 1995 (Paragraph 256).

87. 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 257).

88. The cooling of live trout on ice after they have been removed from water should be prohibited (Paragraph 258).