Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fish welfare

What does good fish welfare look like?
When you think "pet" you probably think cat or dog, maybe rabbit or bird...but the majority of Australia's estimated 38 million pets are fish. According to these stats, there are around 20 million pet fish in Australia. However, when it comes to being well looked after, the majority of fish are not. Is it because they tend to be more silent than their mammalian counterparts? Is it harder for us to empathise with them? Is it because we tend to "set and forget" - put them in a pretty tank and ignore them until they start floating upside down?

What does fish welfare mean?

If you happen to be up late this Saturday night (I am assuming most readers operate on Sydney EST but if you're from Perth or the Northern Hemisphere you're in luck!) there is a fantastic, free webinar on aquatic animal welfare. (If you plan to be asleep at the time, register anyway and you can catch it later).

It is designed to kick off what will be a six month welfare dialogue project on fish welfare, lead by the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association (WAVMA) (of which our very own Dr Richmond Loh is currently President) and Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU). All the info is below.

Free Webinar: “Issues Facing Fish & Aquatic Animal Welfare” – in Celebration of World Veterinary Day & the Beginnings of a Global Dialogue
When: Saturday, April 26, 2013 – 13:00 GMT/UTC (click for your local time)
Register now ! Click on
If you are unable to participate, be sure to register to receive information on accessing a recording of this webinar, information on future webinars, how to participate in the Fish Welfare Dialogue, and the September 2014 International Fish Welfare Conference
Speaker: Chris Walster, BVMS, MVPH, CertAqV, MRCVS
The Island Veterinary Associates, Stafford, UK
Moderator: Dusan Palic, DVM, PhD, CertAqV
Ludwig-Maximilians University, Tierärztliche Fakultät, Munich Germany
About the Webinar & the Dialogue:
The Webinar
This webinar is in celebration of World Veterinary Day and the beginning of a 6-month international conversation (the “Fish Welfare Dialogue”) on numerous issues concerning the human-animal relationship with aquatic animals. It will introduce some of the important issues (from science to philosophy) that affect how non-governmental organizations, governments, animal owners and society at large, might address the welfare of aquatic animals (particularly finfish and invertebrates).
Post-webinar Dialogue & Conference
As part of the Fish Welfare Dialogue, all webinar participants will have the opportunity to discuss these and other issues through web-based discussion forums. With the hopes of developing realistic, practical and optimal approaches for the welfare of all aquatic animals, and the benefit of mankind, these discussions will serve as the basis for refining how aquatic animal welfare should be addressed at an International Conference on Fish Welfare in Munich, Germany in September 2014.
Organizers & Supporters
This webinar has been organized and coordinated by Ludwig-Maximillians University & the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association. Other organisations are invited to participate in and distribute information on the Fish Welfare Dialogue, future Fish Welfare webinars and the 2014 International Fish Welfare Conference. For more information contact
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.