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Grant to fund research into the suffering of wild-caught fish
The vast majority of fish caught for food every year are not stunned before slaughter.

Study to inform possible move towards commercially-viable stunning. 

A researcher from Harper Adams University has been awarded £166,000 from the Humane Slaughter Association (HSA) to fund a study into the welfare of wild-caught fish.

Dr Nicola Randall, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Agriculture, will use the money to carry out a global review into the humane capture and slaughter of wild fish caught commercially for food. 

Her findings will help to inform an analysis of which fishing system, species of fish and geographical fishing area are most suitable for the adoption of commercially viable stunning.

Dr Randall explained: “We will use a systematic mapping technique to provide an overview of available evidence and to identify gaps in knowledge. This ‘systematic mapping’ technique follows structured predefined methods to reduce bias, and increase the transparency of our work.

“It enables us to sift through, summarise and evaluate multiple pieces of, sometimes conflicting, evidence to build a holistic picture. The findings are then presented in a way that is designed to enable the HSA and other users to easily use the research to inform their decision making, and prioritise areas for future research.”

The grant forms part of HSA's ongoing support to encourage the development and adoption of humane slaughter methods for fish. Billions of fish are caught for food every year, of which the vast majority are not stunned before slaughter and may experience significant suffering, it said.

HSA CEO and scientific director Dr Huw Gollegede explained that the research forms part of HSA's plan to explore the possibility that wild-caught fish might be humanely stunned in a similar way to many farmed fish.

“The sheer scale of the wild-capture fishing industry, combined with an almost complete absence of humane stunning, makes this one of the major animal welfare issues globally,” he said. “The study we are supporting will rigorously and systematically examine the current evidence base so that we can decide what future work is needed to move towards routine stunning of wild-caught fish."

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Defra extends applications to Zoo Animals Fund

News Story 1
 Defra has extended the deadline for applications for the 100 Million Zoo Animals Fund until 26 February 2021.

Launched in June 2020, the fund provides financial support for zoos and aquariums that have experienced a drop in income caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Grants of up to 730,000 are available, which can be used to pay for essential costs and maintenance, including veterinary care, medicines, animal feed and staffing.

More information about the fund and details of how to apply can be found here

Click here for more...
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APHA confirms eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in England

The Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) has identified an eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 in poultry in England.

Confirmed on Tuesday (15 December), the outbreak was found in captive birds and poultry at a premises near Willington, South Derbyshire. A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been placed around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Further information about the outbreaks and the latest government advice can be found at