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Millions of salmon 'suffering and dying every year in Aotearoa salmon farms'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

SAFE is launching its "Forgotten Victims of Factory Farming" campaign today and demanding a code of welfare for farmed fishes.

Fishes are the only farmed animal in Aotearoa with no code of welfare. This lack of regulation is creating an animal welfare disaster on an enormous scale.

SAFE Campaigns Manager Anna de Roo said the public knows little about underwater factory farms.

"Overcrowding, poor water quality and disease result in mass salmon deaths every year," said de Roo.

"And it’s not surprising when millions of salmon are trapped in barren underwater cages with no ability to escape these dangers"

In a single sea cage tens of thousands of salmon are crammed into a space that equates to only a bathtub’s worth of water each.

New Zealand King Salmon (NZKS), Aotearoa’s largest salmon producer, regularly has mortality rates above 20% on its farms. Last summer NZKS made 160 trips to the Blenheim landfill to dump 1,269 tonnes of dead salmon. The death rate was so high that NZKS revised their predicted profits down 40%.

Despite the scale of the problem, the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) has failed to deliver a code of welfare. It’s been on their to-do list for over seven years.

"Fishes can feel pain and complex emotions just like other animals. It’s clear though that these animals have been ignored, especially when you look at how they’re treated in the salmon farming industry."

"This is why we need a code of welfare for farmed fishes, as a starting point, to begin addressing the terrible treatment of fishes in factory farms. Ultimately, we want to see fish farming in Aotearoa banned as it was in Argentina last year."

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