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Old 07-31-2012, 11:37 AM   #1 
toad
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"Fish can't feel pain"

Is this true?

We have all heard that recreational fishing is not injurious to fish, because they can't feel pain. Recently, I had someone tell me not to worry about bettas having fin rot or ammonia burns, because "fish are cold blooded; they can't feel pain".

(No, I don't fish for sport/fun/etc.)

If I remember correctly from A&P1, feeling pain is a preservational mechanism. Pain alerts us that something is causing damage to our bodies. Why on earth would a fish not have this mechanism?

I may be incorrect, but, I do believe that "pain" is a signal transmitted by our nerves, which are also responsible for other sensations. This is why, when we hurt ourselves, we can reduce the pain by rubbing the injured area. The nerves become confused, as they can only transmit one signal at a time, and therefore they transmit the sensation of pressure, and not of pain.

Fish have sensation, yes? Therefore, they should also feel pain?
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:48 AM   #2 
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http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...fish-feel-pain

I especially like and agree with some of the comments.
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:51 PM   #3 
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Its not that fish can't feel pain-its the perception or how they perceive pain.

Their brain isn't wired to feel pain/perceive pain the way we do-But they do feel pain.

They respond to painful stimuli by moving away-Instinct of survival telling them to get away to avoid being eaten...Not "Ouch" that hurts....make sense....
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:10 AM   #4 
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Toad, I agree. I've actually never thought about this issue much, but I'm glad I found this thread and my attention was brought to it. I actually recently found this article that was interesting and I would recommend reading it: http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-u...feel-pain.aspx

I previously had started getting into the sport of fishing (catch and release of course. I was only interested because fish fascinate me and it was a good opportunity to see the fish up close) because my best friend is quite into it. I've only ever caught one fish, but whenever I see someone else catch a fish, something doesn't feel right and I feel that the fish IS in fact in pain. After reading that article, I have decided never to go fishing again. Even IF fish don't feel the pain of a hook in their mouth, we all know that fish react to stress. And I'm sure nothing is more stressful than being pulled into an environment where you are not able to breathe, let alone being handled by humans. Once they are released, the stress can weaken their immune system and cause illness or death I'm sure. :(
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:16 AM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toad View Post
Recently, I had someone tell me not to worry about bettas having fin rot or ammonia burns, because "fish are cold blooded; they can't feel pain".
What an ignorant person.

Reptiles are cold blooded and they most definitely feel pain. Being warm or cold blooded has nothing to do with it.
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:36 AM   #6 
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I think it's just a more primitive nervous system. There's some pain but not on the level we perceive pain. I always imagine fish pain as more of a dull throb instead of a sharp pain.
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:54 AM   #7 
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Thanks for the input guys :)

I was completely stunned about the cold blooded remark, as well. Why on earth would it matter if the animal was cold blooded...?
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:27 AM   #8 
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IMO-Be careful with anything written by PETA...if it was up to them we wouldn't be allowed to keep any pets....dog, cats, aquarium, ride horse...etc.....
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:36 AM   #9 
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
IMO-Be careful with anything written by PETA...if it was up to them we wouldn't be allowed to keep any pets....dog, cats, aquarium, ride horse...etc.....

That's true and it really does bring up the question of "How bad can PETA get." I recently read an article about how they were going to sue fast food companies because they murder animals to make their meat.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:53 AM   #10 
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Not to offend anyone, but I don't like PETA, I don't support them, and it irritates me when people think I'm affiliated with them simply because I'm a vegetarian.

People can point out all day long the few good things they do - but even a broken clock is right twice a day.
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