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Breeder to kill 400,000 fish

Published on 06/04/2009

GENEVA - A fish breeder said he would gather 400,000 catfish and shut down his farm after a disagreement with Swiss authorities over the way he usually killed the fish, Swiss news agency ATS reported Friday.

Switzerland introduced new regulations on animal welfare in September 2008, which included the treatment and slaughter of farm animals.

Hans Raab’s method of numbing the fish in chilled water before killing them in a spinning ice-filled container was not among the approved methods.

Raab, a German citizen, said that as a protest, he would not sell any of the 50 tonnes of meat arising from the slaughter at his Swiss fish farm.

Raab, who invested up to CHF 40 million to build the fish farm, also intends to seek damages from the cantonal authorities, his lawyer said.

However, the state veterinarian in the northern Swiss canton of St Gallen, Thomas Giger, said Raab was informed of the regulation changes before he built the farm.

Giger added that Raab was also allowed to kill the fish using his method until 15 May, even though it was outlawed since September 2008.

The new laws adopted in 2008 banned certain treatment of animals, including flushing goldfish down the toilet bowl, using live fish as bait and line-fishing with the intention of releasing the fish back into the water.

AFP / Expatica