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SALMON AND TROUT

89. Fish farms should be managed by an adequate number of suitably trained and competent persons (Paragraph 58).

90. Aquaculture training at colleges etc. should include the welfare of farmed fish (Paragraph 59).

91. The industry should pursue training schemes which are validated (Paragraph 60).

92. Whenever possible, fish should be conditioned to the proximity of farm staff so as to reduce fear responses (Paragraph 61).

93. Where handling is necessary for the purposes of inspection, this must be kept to a minimum (Paragraph 62).

94. Where welfare problems are discovered remedial action must be taken promptly and, if necessary, with the assistance of a veterinarian or other expert (Paragraph 63).

95. Dead and moribund fish must be removed daily except when this might involve danger to personnel who work on sea cages (Paragraph 64).

96. Water quality should be assessed frequently both visually and by the use of monitoring equipment which must be fitted with alarms to alert staff to unacceptable conditions. Staff should be available to respond to alarms which indicate a potential risk to the fish and should take appropriate action if emergencies arise (Paragraph 65).

97. Fish farmers must record live fish movements onto or off the site, fish mortalities and medicines used (Paragraph 66).

98. In the interest of good management, producers should record details of feeding, numbers and weight of fish, stocking density, growth and water quality measures, as unexpected changes may indicate a welfare problem (Paragraph 67).

99. Records should also be kept of any maintenance carried out and of generator and alarm tests (Paragraph 68).

100. Handling equipment and procedures should be designed to minimise stress in the fish (Paragraph 150).

101. Handling equipment should be properly maintained (Paragraph 151).

102. Fish should be handled by trained and competent personnel only (Paragraph 152).

103. Grading equipment and procedures should be designed to minimise stress and injury (Paragraph 156).

104. Automatic grading equipment must be regularly maintained and an alarm fitted to alert staff in the event of breakdown (Paragraph 157).

105. Fish populations should not be graded more often than is absolutely necessary since most kinds of grading are likely to be stressful for fish (Paragraph 158).

106. The welfare of fish in transit by road should be checked at intervals not exceeding four and a half hours, the duration before which a commercial driver is obliged to take a break under road traffic legislation (Paragraph 164).

107. Fish in transit should be in conditions which will allow them to survive a journey at least 50 per cent longer than the anticipated duration (Paragraph 165).

108. Both the salmon and trout industries should give consideration to the need for Codes of Practice on transport which refer directly to fish welfare (Paragraph 166).

109. Crowding before collection for transport or killing should not be so prolonged or severe that unnecessary suffering is caused (Paragraph 167).

110. Oxygen levels must be constantly monitored and drivers should have the facility to adjust levels from the cab. Carbon dioxide should not be allowed to rise to levels which harm the fish (Paragraph 168).

111. Excessive changes in water temperature and pH in transport tanks must be avoided (Paragraph 169).

112. Transport containers should be cleaned and disinfected after conveyance of each consignment of fish (Paragraph 170).

113. Fish must be checked before transport and unfit or unhealthy fish must not be transported (Paragraph 171).

114. We endorse the requirement of the Welfare of Animals during Transport Order 1994 (as amended) that a written record must accompany fish during transport (Paragraph 172).

115. Nets used for catching and handling fish must not injure the skin or fins of the fish, for example they should be knotless (Paragraph 173).

116. It is essential that the welfare of farmed fish is not adversely affected by limiting the availability of vaccines or therapeutic medicines which are known to be effective and do not pose a food safety or environmental hazard. Ways must therefore be found to achieve rapid availability of vaccines and medicines to deal with emergencies such as major outbreaks of disease, and also to increase the range of vaccines and medicines approved for the treatment of fish. Well-tried and efficient medicines must not be lost unless adequate alternatives are available (Paragraph 218).

117. In principle FAWC is opposed to the unnecessary mutilation of farmed animals solely as an aid to management. Mutilations which involve removal of sensitive tissue should not be carried out on farmed fish (Paragraph 220).

118. Marking methods should be used only where they cause minimal damage to the fish (Paragraph 221).

119. Adequate measures to reduce predation should be incorporated into all farms at the design stage (Paragraph 226).

120. Research should be undertaken to improve systems of predator control through investigation of modes of predator attack in relation to cage design and fish behaviour; improved design of cages, predator nets, deployment of nets (including use of weights, mesh sizes etc.) and resolution of problems associated with predator nets e.g. water flow reduction, increased drag, net fouling, and the entangling of predators (Paragraph 227).

121. Where measures are taken to protect fish from predators this should always be done in a way which minimises poor welfare of the predators and does not endanger predator populations. The killing of predators should be a last resort (Paragraph 228).

122. Salmon producers should follow the Salmon Farming and Predatory Wildlife Code of Practice which is produced by the Scottish Salmon Growers Association (Paragraph 229).

123. No use of genetic engineering outside the control of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, except for currently used procedures for triploid fish production, should be permitted unless the absence of effects of the procedure on the welfare of the fish has been demonstrated by properly conducted scientific studies (Paragraph 232).

124. If a fish is to be stunned, the stun must cause immediate loss of consciousness which lasts until death (Paragraph 235).

125. A fish must not be stunned unless it can be bled or otherwise killed without delay (Paragraph 236).

126. If a fish cannot be stunned, any killing method must result in rapid and irreversible loss of consciousness (Paragraph 237).

127. Transfer from the pen or tank to the killing facility should cause a minimum of avoidable excitement, pain or suffering to the fish (Paragraph 238).