Article Text

Effect of slaughter by removal from water on visual evoked activity in the brain and reflex movement of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
  1. SC Kestin,
  2. SB Wotton and
  3. NG Gregory
  1. Department of Meat Animal Science, University of Bristol, Langford.


The effects of removal from water and death by anoxia on brain function and reflex movement were examined in conscious trout. Visual evoked responses (VERS) were measured in fish with a body temperature of 20 degrees C, 14 degrees C and 2 degrees C. On average the fish took 2.6 minutes at 20 degrees C, 3.0 minutes at 14 degrees C and 9.6 minutes at 2 degrees C to lose VERS, and 11.5, 27.7 and 197.6 minutes, respectively, to lose all movement. VERS were absent from fish anaesthetised with MS222. From a humanitarian standpoint these results indicate that fish killed by anoxia could be exposed to periods of distress or suffering, and that cooling them in ice prolongs this period.

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