Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site
Tropical Fish Forums
Aquarium fishkeeping around the world!
 
ChatChat  HelpHelp   Search BoardSearch Board   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups 
 ProfileProfile   Check your private messagesCheck your private messages   Log inLog in   RegisterRegister 
Ethics for the use of fishes in research
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 Forum Index > Aquarium Science  Reply to topic   Post new topic
Author Message
Marcos Avila
Moderators


Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Santo Andre (Brazil)

PostPosted: 2008.02.05(Tue)21:43    Post subject: Ethics for the use of fishes in research Reply with quote

Ethical justification for the use and treatment of fishes in research
Editorial of Journal of Fish Biology 68 (2006) 1-2.
(full text in HTML and PDF available in the link)

This excellent editorial published on JFB in 2006 clearly demonstrates the great concern of the scientific community nowadays, to guarantee that research with animals is conducted under the strictest ethical criteria.

The editorial starts by calling attention to the fact that ethics discussions on the use of mammals in general has been going on for some time now, but has only recently gained interest with respect to fish, and one of the main concerns refers to the issue of whether, and how, fish feel pain.

Until recently, when a submitted article raised an ethical concern, the common procedure was to make editorial consultation to independent specialists. From now on the journal is requiring that the authors themselves include in the methods section of their papers information satisfactorily demonstrating that the research was conducted according to current ethical norms.

Some of the new requirements are:
    - Demonstration of respect to the local laws where the research was conducted and presentation of evidence that the protocols used were submitted to ethical review.

    - Evaluation of the preservation status of the studied species. Sampling and collecting should minimize disturbances of the native population and their habitat.

    - Collected fish for fauna surveys should me maintained in holding tanks/aquariums when possible and then returned to the wild, or in the impossibility of such they must be euthanized in the most humane way possible (overdose of anesthetics).

    - All surgical procedures that may lead to pain and distress should be conducted with previous sedation, and appropriate post-surgical care. The journal will not publish procedures conducted on sentient animals that were only submitted to paralyzing drugs such as muscle relaxants.

    - All procedures that may cause adverse effects, permanent damage or death must be specifically justified. Any harm caused will need to be justified against the benefit gained.

For the more radical-minded this is certainly not sufficient as they want a complete ban of any type of research in animals, but it definitely demonstrates the concern and evolution of the scientific community in the improvement of ethical protocols...
_________________

Success with a fish/tank is measured in YEARS, not months or weeks...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Doc Daneeka
Regulars


Joined: 01 Nov 2007
Location: BC, Canada - I Love Skiing!

PostPosted: 2008.02.05(Tue)23:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOOT! First post in the new section! Very Happy Do I get a prize?

Thanks for sharing that Marcos! I think it is awesome the concern scientists have for the ethics of their research. Also, it's great that unethical practices must be justified. I think it's just awesome, because many people do not regard fish like animals, and this will help prevent suffering. So great to hear this, thanks! Wink

Doc
_________________

Thanks for the avatar and sig Jun!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
number6
Moderators


Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2008.02.06(Wed)9:14    Post subject: Re: Ethics for the use of fishes in research Reply with quote

Marcos Avila wrote:
but has only recently gained interest with respect to fish, and one of the main concerns refers to the issue of whether, and how, fish feel pain.


Interesting tidbit there... pain in fish... define pain.
Is pain itself "Wrong"?

Clearly the suffering that higher order animals go through is wrong to create unnecessarily.

But is "pain" wrong?

If I hand a steel ball to someone and tell them it's going to heat up, before long, they will be desperate to drop it as their hand will feel like it's burning.
The pain will become too intense to keep holding the ball yet the "pain" is not real.

So how can something that may or may not even be real, be wrong?
_________________
"Just don't look in my fish room honey... it's just better for all of us. "
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Heather R
Benefactors


Joined: 04 Feb 2007
Location: NY

PostPosted: 2008.02.06(Wed)9:41    Post subject: Re: Ethics for the use of fishes in research Reply with quote

Pain is never wrong in my opinion. Pain is there for a reason, to let the animal be it person, dog, llama, or fish know that something is wrong. Not the pain tiself being wrong but that there is an outside force causing the pain. So it's is necessary for all creatures to survive.


I also feel that fish would have pain. They are alive so why would they feel no pain? If I cut you, you would have pain, no? If I cut a dog or a horse it would have pain. If I cut a fish without killing it it would have pain. That is how nerves work. If the creature has a nervous system, it feels pain.

I am sure it hurts when a fish gets it's gills burned by a tank that is not cycled and has ammonia and nitrite spikes. We as fishkeepers don't condone that sort of thing, because it's "wrong". It's wrong to cause unnecessary pain to any creature, but the pain itself is never wrong.
_________________
Now all your loach are belong to us!
"Don't make me use my stuff on ya, baby!"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Hookster
Members


Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Location: South Florida

PostPosted: 2008.02.06(Wed)14:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that fish feel pain for the most part, yet pain is very subjective due to the cause. Example: if you pinch your cheek very hard it will hurt, now grab your elbow skin with your arm stretched out, no matter how hard you pinch it won't hurt due to the type of pain receptors that are needed for pressure are not there to pick up the signals. So I do not know what animals have what receptors where but it is possible that fish might be lacking certain receptors in certain places making things what would hurt a human not phase a fish at all.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Dusko
Moderators


Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: 2008.02.06(Wed)15:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Interesting tidbit there... pain in fish... define pain.
Is pain itself "Wrong"?


Define pain you say... pain doesn't necessarily needs to be physical, but also psychological/emotional which causes lots of stress which can lead to traumas and death. This is the main issue when it comes to fish IMO.
We don't need to measure fish pain, but rather use common sense while we are observing them.

Lets just see what my friend Betta has to say about pain/stress.

And here he is;

One photo says more than 1000 words, if one wants to see, don't you think.

This doesn't have much to do with science maybe but it sure does open our eyes/minds.
This is the way Bettas are transported from Singapore to the rest of the world.
How cold heart should one have to say this is normal/acceptable, that this fish is not feeling some sort of pain/stress. Do you like your head to be "shoveled" into the corner of this tiny bag, with very little water full of ammonia, and very little O2? I wouldn't.

Now, this particular Betta is called Einstein (I named him Wink ) and he was traveling from Singapore to Sweden for 38-42 hours. This includes not feeding it for at least 2 days before the bagging, netting it, bagging it (and medicating it), transporting in a van/truck to the airport, waiting on the airport, traveling with one plain, then load into another plain (but before that waiting), then take off again, loading into the truck/van that will bring the fish to the final destination (and all this in a small bag), quarantine/medication, than bagging again, to be finally sold to the LFS.

Of course the story continues;
Water quality in LFS tanks, how well are they fed, netting, bagging/selling, hobbyists tank.
And of course, who bought the fish: Fish-heaver or a Fish-keeper?

NOTE; because stressed (transport) fish usually refuse to eat for a day or two, sometimes longer, depending on specie. What happens with fishes immunity during this time of stress, without any food??

It is not just science that makes test on fish, but also aquarium trade whole sellers. For example;
-How many fish can we transport in just one bag??!!
-58 maybe Confused
- Lets TEST !!
Two days later;
- We got a mail from Sweden saying that they got too many DOD (Dead-on-arrival) fish, bags with very little air also.
- OK, the best we can do is reduce the number to 48 per bag. This want make much difference. We can't go lower, otherwise we can't sell them so cheap.

This is approximately how things work in this trade. BTW, some bags contain up to 98 fish per bag Shocked

I believe deep inside my heart, that this hobby and every single type of testing on animals will be banned one day. Maybe in 100 years from now on, but will come to life.

This hobby does have one chance though. Laws!
Everyone who wants to purchase an aquarium animal must have a certificate, which will state that this person was educated in responsible fish-keeping. No exceptions! Officially registered Fish-keeper! Razz

Testing on living fish, or transporting daily thousands of fish...which is worse?
Even this very moment some fish are dying/choking inside the transport bag just so we could keep a few in our home aquarium.
Not all survive the trip and many die in the next 2 weeks (quarantine).

I use to work as a photo journalist (free-lens) back in the days, and I like to see photo documents, they do say more than words.
Here is a terrifying fact, showing DOD (dead-on-arrival) fish, out of just one shipment I have received;
*and don't worry if you get disturbed by these quiet graphic images of reality. That is very positive, because it proves you being a human with feelings for the animal world.





Did these fishes feel pain, before they died?

I can't go against science, if it will bring more good than bad.
I can't go against Tom Barr testing on fish/shrimps how high levels of NO3 and PO4 can they tolerate. I know, same as science, he will pass the results to thousands in this hobby, so we could know better.

But I do can, and will go, against this mega ornamental fish-trade that kills in cold blood (read in ignorance) thousands of fish every day.

Science is just a straw inside a big haystack.

Define pain you say...was this enough? All we need is common sense, not science, to make us realise that we use fish just so we could have some sort of hobby, so we feel more alive in our every day lives. And who pays the highest prise for it really? We, science...fish, maybe?!

Kind regards, Dusko.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
number6
Moderators


Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2008.02.06(Wed)16:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not enough by far Dusko... it's as if I showed you photos of a salad and asked you if you think the veggies suffered when they were ripped from their life giving roots then diced before being tossed into a mass grave with acetic acid poured on them.

There is a hierarchy to life... and no one who tries to deny it can for long.

What you owe to a bacterium is less that what you owe to an Orangutan.

The reason I asked about a definition of pain is to split response to stimulus away from suffering and mental anguish.
Fish lack the section of the brain where this sort of self knowledge is excited during suffering in all higher order animals.

So in other words, fish feel no mental anguish, same as a vegetable. Brocoli have a rudimentary nervous system and shy away from a damaging stimulus so even a nervous system cannot be directly linked to "pain".

I can also point out that bacteria react to damaging stimuli without having a nervous system.

So we still have to delve into the issue of whether or not we are talking about pain or mental anguish.

I feel that if we knew what to look for, we would likely find a rudimentary form of mental anguish in some of the more intelligent fish. But this is just my speculation. As it stands right now, there is no proof of any mental anguish.

Now... what has been found is that stress hormones (the fight or flight response in fish) shoot through the roof when damaging stimuli affects the fish.

Human handling seems to cause the fish great distress.
Nets are only slightly better...
So what does this mean for this discussion?

A lot.. if the fish doesn't suffer, then might it not make an ideal candidate to be tested on without the uncomfortable-ness of producing suffering in something alive?

If all they feel is some sort of stress response, is it not better to harm a fish than a rodent that can experience mental anguish?
_________________
"Just don't look in my fish room honey... it's just better for all of us. "
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dusko
Moderators


Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: 2008.02.07(Thu)9:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It's not enough by far Dusko... it's as if I showed you photos of a salad and asked you if you think the veggies suffered when they were ripped from their life giving roots then diced before being tossed into a mass grave with acetic acid poured on them.


I show you photos of fish that died because of our hobby, and you compare it with a salad? I have no comment on this one, sorry.

Quote:
There is a hierarchy to life... and no one who tries to deny it can for long.

I am not gonna comment because I have a feeling I might misinterpret this statement. Can you be more specific, please.

Quote:
What you owe to a bacterium is less that what you owe to an Orangutan.


This is funny, because I think otherwise. I believe I owe the bacteria much, MUCH MORE, than I owe to the Orangutan.
Lets say, if Orangutans and humans disappear from this planet tomorrow, this planet will continue to function without any problems.
But if bacteria (or even insects) disappear, we wouldn't last for very long, don't you think.?

Quote:
So in other words, fish feel no mental anguish, same as a vegetable. Brocoli have a rudimentary nervous system and shy away from a damaging stimulus so even a nervous system cannot be directly linked to "pain".


Even so, does that justify what this trade and science are doing to fish??
OK, lets say they don't feel pain, but for now we can say that they feel "funny".
Does it really matter is it pain or funny, when we know they simply don't tolerate it in their fishy way.

I believe you have a point there. The only problem is we are approaching this issue from different sides. We prioritise different things in this discussion. I am focused on the ethical part and you on the biological (correct me if I am wrong).

I start enjoying this forum Very Happy

Kind regards, Dusko.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
number6
Moderators


Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2008.02.07(Thu)11:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dusko wrote:
I show you photos of fish that died because of our hobby, and you compare it with a salad? I have no comment on this one, sorry.

Quote:
There is a hierarchy to life... and no one who tries to deny it can for long.

I am not gonna comment because I have a feeling I might misinterpret this statement. Can you be more specific, please.


The two points above are joined. All the dead fish are horrific because they were living creatures... but so was the salad. A salad is not horrific because they are "just" vegetables.

What we have to realize is that IF they are "just" fish that feel no suffering, then the pictures are no longer that horrific.

Perhaps instead of a salad analogy I could have linked to this:
http://www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au/Portals/0/images/BTS_01.jpg

My reference to a hierarchy of life is along these same lines...

I am sure you have little hesitation and using a cleaner on the surfaces of your home... wiping out millions of life forms... or swatting a small moth that flies into your home.

You would not swat a deer that wandered into your yard though...

you would definately not swat and kill an Orangutan.

By owe, I do not mean derive benefit from and should be grateful... I mean owe a duty to.

Ethical actions and biological differences are linked in my opinion. The complexity and intelligence of an animal must determine the appropriate treatment of the animals in question.

I could put in in complete layman's terms by putting it this way...

if you were starving on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic (working boat but no propeller) and you had a fishing pole with bait or a bunny in the boat... would you catch, cook, and eat the fish first? or the bunny?

Fish of course...
_________________
"Just don't look in my fish room honey... it's just better for all of us. "
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dusko
Moderators


Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: 2008.02.07(Thu)12:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

My apologies Laughing I wasn't aware of that singular, bacterium Laughing
excuse my English, I thought it was 1 bacteria, 2 bacteria = 1 bacterium 2 bacterium Rolling Eyes silly me.

Well the link you offered works better for me all right.
That market "dead" fish doesn't look that disturbing, actually looks very tasty to be honest.
I get your point.

BUT!

If we are talking about ethics, your link and images offered by me can't be compared as same. Not at all.

Why? Hunting/killing to survive is different than hunting/killing so we could test on animals or having/keeping them in our home aquaria.

The wolf will hunt down a Deer to survive, we can do the same and that is ethical IMO.
But if we hunt down a Deer just so we could have his horns as a trophy, well that wouldn't be ethical.

I mean fish from my images where in the Ocean (the Big Deep Blue) before being bagged and send on this stressful trip. Pain or no pain, I believe we should research/test our selves a bit more rather than the animals.

All we learn from our tests is that the animals would be in far better conditions if we humans were not here at all (Planet Earth).

But I'll stop here. I hope others will join us too. I feel this 1 to 1 discussion is a bit personal, and I do have respect for you number6 Smile so no offense meant.

As always, kind regards, Dusko.

EDIT;
Quote:
if you were starving on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic (working boat but no propeller) and you had a fishing pole with bait or a bunny in the boat... would you catch, cook, and eat the fish first? or the bunny?
Fish of course...

Bunny actually, less bones Laughing just kidding
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
 Forum Index > Aquarium Science All times are GMT - 6 Hours Reply to topic   Post new topic
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Jump to:  
  You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2008 phpBB Group

oF <=> oC in <=> cm G <=> L