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Ethics for the use of fishes in research
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number6
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2008.02.07(Thu)13:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's almost impossible to offend me during a regular discussion Smile

it's usually when things turn ludicrous that I get offended. So you're a very far way from giving me any cause for even the slightest bit of offense.

Remember, I refuse to set up another salt water tank until the day I can buy 100% man cultured stock! All because of photos like yours.

But... I also try to break down each and every discussion into tiny individual points.

Fact: ornamental fish are killed, often in horrible ways for the aquarium trade.

Fact: many food fishes suffer as much in the way we currently catch them.

So then I look at the component parts and say that the first cannot be wrong with the second OK unless I claim that pretty fish are somehow more important/ worthy of better treatment than food fish.

Maybe they are... that part I have not answered in my own mind.

Similarly... you state "The wolf will hunt down a Deer to survive, we can do the same and that is ethical IMO. "

I agree... but breaking this down...

killing, even horribly (tooth, claw, strangulation, bow and arrow, shotgun and stress hormones while being killed) a deer can be justified based on the motive, and the results.

So if that is true... then what we get down to is that any animal can be killed for a good enough reason and the end results.

In other words... the ends justify the means.

Hmmm... a slippery slope to be sure.

But I do agree with it still... so... testing on fish... if tests are minimally invasive to the animal, stress levels are within a range typical of what is found in the wild during say, the breeding season, ad the fish are humanely put to sleep at the end and we make huge progressive strides into things that will save other fishes lives or maybe even higher order animals and man...

have we reached a point where we have to admit that the death of 5 fishes to save 5000 could be OK? Test to determine the toxicity levels of common pollutants in fry... we run a test and kill 40 fry, but this info helps get a court order to shut down a waste water pipe from a paper mill on a local river...

justifiable yet?
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2008.02.07(Thu)14:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

25 years ago I worked in medical/pharmaceutical research.

In my lab we did the final quality control for some essential products (Sterile drips, dialysis & insulin among others.) and also worked to find alternatives for experimental animals.

Having a diabetic father I had no problem sacrificing a group of mice to be certain insulin was effective. The mice were bred on site in far better conditions than most pet mice live.

I refused one contract as I didn't see any reason to test vitamin D in diet chocolate. Testing children's vitamin drops for Third World Countries I considered reasonable. It was part of a Home Office license that any holder could refuse any test without fear of reprisal from the company.

I had no problem where I could understand the need for the test, a child's life or a rat's life? No contest; but I was a stickler for good animal husbandry and their welfare.

I left because I was fed up having to check under my car for bombs. One day we were picketed as the operations figures had been published (multi thousands - one batch of insulin used over a hundred mice and we did 6 or 8 tests a day)
Lab coats off and at lunchtime a couple of us wandered up to the demonstrators carrying a bag of chips. The offer of a chip was refused - I'd love one but I'm diabetic was the reason. Hypocrite or uneducated or both?

Fish keeping isn't really essential to life but it is a duty to ensure the best conditions possible.
Fish could be a resource that makes the difference between poverty and living well in some regions and prospective value of the catch could well be the incentive to preserve habitat.
Experiments on fish? Depends why? Dying & cutting fish for profit definitely not.
I too don't keep saltwater fish, although I have in the past, but may try again when tank bred fish are commonplace.


I often wonder, when I see products that say "not tested on animals"
how many people actually know what that means?
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CAllain
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Joined: 05 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, England

PostPosted: 2008.02.07(Thu)16:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say this is a very interesting discussion... I'm not as educated/experienced as a lot of you, and am more on the fence in all this.

While I don't like some of the images I've seen from animal testing, and think that if effective alternatives could be found it would be much better, in a lot of cases I realise it may be "necessary" in order to improve life.

Also, as a teenager I went through a phase where I wasn't sure whether I should be eating meat, due to the fact that it was killing animals and therefore putting them through pain. I then saw a wildlife documentary that showed a lion killing a zebra, and the lion first chases the zebra, then leaps forward and digs its claws into the zebra's back or hind legs to stop it, before moving round to kill it. This certainly couldn't be considered "humane" so should I be quite so worried about other animals being subjected to stress/pain that isn't as extreme as cases like these?

My general stand on things is:

I don't agree with killing animals for "trophies"

I do agree with killing animals for food

I am aware that my desire to keep fish in an aquarium is selfish, but keep only freshwater fish, and believe that they are tank bred as opposed to wild caught (I may double check the sources of the fish with the LFS before I buy the next batch, just out of curiosity)

And, as far as this topic's concerned, I understand (even if I can't say I like it) that sometimes sacrifices are necessary when it comes to scientific research. It may not be completely ethical to test on fish, but the only other option in some cases may be to test on humans, and that isn't ethical either. I believe a few years ago there was a case where a medicinal drug was tested on people in the UK, and it went wrong, leading to many people being hospitalised in intensive care (if I remember clearly). Would this kind of thing be preferable to testing on a fish that can be bred specifically for this purpose?
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James26aus
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Joined: 29 Jul 2007
Location: Australia

PostPosted: 2008.02.07(Thu)16:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the salad/dead fish:

To me, the dead fish image is disheartening because it seems a waste of life.
If those were fish in a market, about to be sold for consumption by either people or animals, it wouldn't bother me. Then it would be similar to the salad.

In the same way, fishing practices such as drift netting or using dynamite seem incredibly wrong. I wouldn't compare either of these to using fish for medical research.

When I was in high school, I refused to participate in dissections in science class. As I saw it, there were already plenty of dissection photographs and illustrations available. We were not discovering anything new, and the thought that thousands of small animals were bred or caught just to be turned into a fleshy mush by immature boys wasn't nice (gosh the room smelt awful afterwards).

I was lucky that I had a similarly minded friend at the time, and the teacher didn't go off at me (although I have had teachers that hated me for expressing my morals in the past). I still finished the exercise based upon the dissections, and probably did better than most, simply based on my prior knowledge of anatomy.

Research is different. They aren't just relearning lessons of the past, they're trying to find something new. Its possible they are looking in the wrong places and causing unnecessary animal deaths/discomfort, but I honestly don't know much about cancer research so its not for me to say. I wouldn't personally want to test on animals (like mice & fish), but I'm not going to try and stop anyone else from doing it so long as it doesn't appear 'wasteful'.
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Dusko
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Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: 2008.02.07(Thu)17:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
and believe that they are tank bred as opposed to wild caught (I may double check the sources of the fish with the LFS before I buy the next batch, just out of curiosity)


OT;
I am very happy you are thinking like that. But let me tell you one more thing;

It is not enough just buying fish that was tank bred.
If you see my last 3rd photo, showing lots of dead Platys that were tank bred in Singapore.
They didn't survive the 38-42 hours long trip.
We (responsible fish-keepers) should only purchase fish that were LOCALY BRED, fish that doesn't go through lots of stress (long trips, different water parameters, etc).

We can demand from our LFS locally bred species and explaining why. Shops will change and start ordering fish from local breeders if they see many customers demanding it even though locally bred species cost more.
Every shop wants to keep a customer happy Smile

It is a slow process I know, but we shouldn't get discouraged. Be consistent. Spread the info through forums like Aqua Hobby and others, join local fish clubs and explain to them why it is good buying locally bred species.
Local aquarium clubs can make a petition and send it to the government, etc. Action is required indeed.

But it is possible.

To be honest I am thinking to start maintaining plants only aquariums, no fish at all.

regards, Dusko.
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Dusko
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Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: 2008.02.15(Fri)8:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

number6 wrote:
It's almost impossible to offend me during a regular discussion Smile


Good man Very Happy

Quote:
Fact: ornamental fish are killed, often in horrible ways for the aquarium trade.

Fact: many food fishes suffer as much in the way we currently catch them.

So then I look at the component parts and say that the first cannot be wrong with the second OK unless I claim that pretty fish are somehow more important/ worthy of better treatment than food fish.


I am with you on this, 100%. Both, food fish and ornamental species deserve the same = BETTER.

Try to understand my focus please;
When it comes to observing dead food fish and dead ornamental fish I react differently. WHY?
Well, the food fish was meant for food consumption, it is going to help me or another animal to survive. (in this case imagine the fish was caught in a more appropriate way) Food fish was never removed from their habitat, so we could continue keeping it as a pet. It was killed (I agree better ways should be used) so we, animals could feed on. That is the whole point of catching a meal Smile

But catching fish so we could keep it in our home aquarium is different. Fish that died in transport bags doesn't look anymore like the dead food fish. Why?
They were never meant to be seen dead in transport bags. They are not meant to be "kidnapped" from their habitats or netted from the breeders tank so they could die in transport bags nor by a fish-heavers ignorance.
The means are to keep aquarium trade fish in good health, so it could live its life to its old age, if kept properly (responsible fish-keeping).

And for that reason it is very normal if a fish-keeper feels sad/unsatisfied for fish that was meant to be seen living a good life inside a suitable home portable ecosystem. No living creature likes to die premature (so much I know in my heart, science on the side), no matter do they feel fear, pain, stress, reflex, instinct or something else.

About food fish;
If I have to die premature so one shark could continue living (the circle of life right) I don't mind, even though I would do my best to get the hell out of there (instinct) Wink
(I am not saying we humans should destroy habitats just so we could have some fish for a dinner.)
About aquarium fish;
But I do mind, if that shark takes me away because it would like to keep me alive in a cage as a pet. Transport me in a small bag, on a long trip and I die premature because of stress and lack of O2.
And what after that... the shark throw me in the bin and go back to the shop/distributor to get another one instead.

I am not trying to be 100% radical, no way, I am aware that science needs living subject like fish, rats, etc so other life forms could benefit, and what you said I support;
Quote:
have we reached a point where we have to admit that the death of 5 fishes to save 5000 could be OK? Test to determine the toxicity levels of common pollutants in fry... we run a test and kill 40 fry, but this info helps get a court order to shut down a waste water pipe from a paper mill on a local river...


Thanks for reading.
Kind regards, Dusko.
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cheese-737
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Joined: 30 Nov 2007
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: 2008.02.24(Sun)14:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

so what is your position on the aquarium hobby, are you for or against it? do you own an aquarium with fish?
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Dusko
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Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: 2008.02.24(Sun)17:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am against a hobby that is ignorant and selfish, BUT...

I am for a hobby that is interested in fish well being from the day the fish was bred, then grown, transported, sold, housed/properly kept.

What is your view??

BTW you can read my thread for more, about my views;
http://www.aquahobby.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=48839

Regards, Dusko.
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cheese-737
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Joined: 30 Nov 2007
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: 2008.02.24(Sun)17:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

personally I do have many aquariums and lots of fish I bought from the fish store.

I am against all the stress that the industry puts these creatures through, but the reason I own aquariums, is so that I can aquire a species, learn about it, try to breed them, raise the fry with the best of food, water conditions, etc, and sell them back to the lfs to reduce the demand for fish that would need to be transported to the lfs in such harmful ways.

I know a lot about every fish species I own, and will try to get a nice school of them through the lfs, even though creating a demand for the fish, but the purpose I do this is to then turn around and provide the lfs with fish that have the best care, even if I have to do it for free. Thus, potentially lowering the price of these fish, providing a greater demand for fish that are well cared for.

Do you even try to reduce the demand for these fish??

What do you do for the benefit of the fish???
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Dusko
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Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: 2008.02.25(Mon)12:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What do you do for the benefit of the fish???


I spread the info/the truth about this industry, from the first hand. I work in a LFS.
What can I do directly from there?
Nothing much to do, since customers dictate conditions. And what customers need is LOW PRISES Wink

My boss, like any other LFS bosses, wants to keep happy customers. If customers would instead of cheap fish, demand locally bred species EVEN THOUGH THEY COST MORE, fish wouldn't go through such ruff times.

What I do... I face dead fish faces every day. And I inform you about it so you and many others know better next time when going to purchase a new fish.
This image represents one such fish that died so you, I and many others could enjoy a few in our home aquarium;

I trust images more than I trust words.

Hopefully, many like you will join and support this idea about LFS stocking only locally bred species.
Hopefully many like you will support the idea that everyone who want to maintain an aquarium has to pass the course about Fish-keeping and get a Certificate "Officially Fish-Keeper", so no LFS can sell a fish to someone without this official document that could be issued by a local Aquarium Organisation f.ex.
There are ways, but customers have to start making demands, and shops will change, just to keep the customer happy.

In one year, I had only one customer that demanded a fish, A. ocellaris, that was tank bred locally, here in Sweden. And I did order it, BUT that fish was much more expensive than the wild captured from Bali f.ex.
Yes she purchased it, but other customers took the cheaper wild caught ones.
After a few month we moved the locally bred ones to our 1300 liters show tank (I took two with me home) because no one was interesting in buying fish that costs more that the South East Asia caught fish.
And that was the end of the story. Only one customer out of... how many thousands that go through this LFS in a year?

If I get locally bred species, that cost more, all customers will simply go to the shop that is cheaper. And what can I do (together with my BOSS and colleges), close the shop, and start selling KEBABS instead maybe??

Most changes start in USA when it comes to aquaristic IMO, and many Europeans read English speaking forums where they get the info, get inspired and start changes in there own countries. I am trying to start the wheel of change here at Aqua Hobby and hope others will join me in this.

Kind regards, Dusko.
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Last edited by Dusko on 2008.02.29(Fri)17:12; edited 2 times in total
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