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Debra Teachout, DVM, MVSc

Dr. Teachout is a practicing veterinarian, who graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. She also holds an advanced degree in veterinary clinical pathology from Western College of Veterinary Medicine and has completed additional coursework in farmed animal welfare. Dr. Teachout states:

    Certainly skinning and dismembering a live, fully conscious or even semi-conscious fish is inhumane. The catfish in this video show clearly aversive behavior during slaughter indicating awareness and sensibility. This procedure offers a slow, painful, prolonged death to the fish.

    The handling and slaughter methods captured in this video are appalling from an animal welfare point of view.

Jonathan Balcombe, PhD

Dr. Balcombe is an ethologist with Bachelors and Masters degrees in biology, and a Doctorate in animal behavior from the University of Tennessee. He is the author of four books on animal behavior, as well as more than 40 book chapters and peer-reviewed journal papers. Dr. Balcombe states:

    The animals are handled roughly and without care, as if they were slabs of clay.

    Either the handlers think fishes have no feeling, or they are being sadistic.

    Handling such as that shown in this footage is extremely cruel and heartless and should be outlawed immediately.

Lee Schrader, DVM

Dr. Schrader is a practicing veterinarian, who obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Schrader has over 35 years of experience working with animals, particularly animals with serious, difficult-to-diagnose disorders. Dr. Schrader states:

    The treatment of these catfish is shameful.

    As catfish cannot live out of the water for a prolonged period, it can be presumed that they are suffocating, and undergoing the stress and pain that accompanies it.

    To skin and dismember a fish while it is obviously alive and responsive is cruel, inhumane and without excuse.

Bernard E. Rollin, PhD

Dr. Rollin is a distinguished professor of animal science at Colorado State University and is well known internationally for his over 30 years of work in animal welfare. He was a major architect of federal laws protecting laboratory animals, and has written two books on farmed animal welfare. He is a member of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production and serves as an adviser on animal welfare issues in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Rollin states:

    I was appalled by the video you sent me showing workers skinning and eviscerating live catfish.

    The behavior of these workers is robotic, showing absolutely no regard for the possibility that the animals feel anything.

    Failure to (stun fish prior to skinning) appears to constitute a paradigmatic instance of animal cruelty.

Temple Grandin, PhD, PAS

Dr. Grandin is considered the world's leading expert on farmed-animal welfare. She is an associate professor of livestock behavior at Colorado State University and an animal welfare advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the meat industry. In response to this investigation, Dr. Grandin states:

    People processing live fish should first render the fish insensible before skinning, removing meat, or other invasive procedures.