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Landmark study: Fish are sentient animals who form friendships and experience ‘positive emotions’

Ian Johnston: ‘Fish are sentient animals who form friendships, experience “positive emotions” and have individual personalities. That, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), is the implication of a landmark new study which found zebrafish are social animals in a similar way to humans and other mammals. And people who refuse to eat meat on moral grounds but do eat fish – as well as people who keep fish as pets – should bear that in mind, Dr Penny Hawkins, head of the RSPCA’s research animals department, told The Independent. The researchers discovered that being in a group gives zebrafish a kind of “social buffering” so they are less afraid when confronted by danger…

Dr Hawkins said the study also added to the growing body of evidence that fish should not be viewed as lesser animals. “I think if you are going to think it’s okay to eat any animal, then you have to realise what you are doing,” she said. “You are causing the death of an animal who is sentient, who has experiences, interests… They are not just ornaments or play things for people, they are individuals, they are sentient”.’ SOURCE…

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