"This archaic and cruel practice no longer has a place in our society. " The association Paris Animaux Zoopolis is asking the government to ban live fishing. In a petition addressed to Francois de Rugy, Minister for the Ecological Transition, and Didier Guillaume, Minister of Agriculture and Food, the association calls for a regulation of recreational fishing in France and the prohibition the use of living vertebrates as bait. A video, commented by the French comedian Greg Guillotin, committed to the animal cause, reveals images of fishing, shot north of Paris and the south of France, where we can see fish mistreated.
"We consider that the animal is a toy"
Live fishing is therefore the use of a living vertebrate – fish, small mammals, amphibians – as bait, to attract a predator who will bite the hook. "This is the worst of animal sufferingcomments Amandine Sanvisens, president of the association Paris Animaux Zoopolis. They are often held in small volumes of water for several days and the hook remains planted in the body of the fish for hours.The president denounces the lack of supervision of recreational fishing. Article R922-5 of the Rural Code and Sea Fisheries, available online on Legifrance, mentions just that "the use as bait of fish, crustaceans or molluscs that have not reached the minimum required size is prohibited ". Amandine Sanvisens continues: "It is considered that the animal is a toy under the pretext that it does not have a vocal or facial expression like mammals, and that they deserve no respect."
However, a report from the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) on animal consciousness conducted in 2017 highlights that "many animals, including fish, are capable of the same assessment processes as those that trigger conscious emotions in humans. " And "The brains of birds and fish have mammalian-like structures, which presumably allow them to consciously experience pain. It can be said that at least vertebrates are equipped with nervous systems that deal with processes that are aware of complex information, and in particular negative emotions caused by nociceptive stimuli ".
In Europe, Germany, Austria (Upper Austria and Carinthia), Scotland, Ireland (freshwater) and Switzerland in particular have already banned the use of live bait. Paris Pets Zoopolis asks the equivalent to the French government. The association will organize, on March 18th, an event to raise awareness about the suffering of fish.