Aquaculture for all

Awards Given For Dedication To Fish Welfare

Welfare Education & academia +2 more

UK - The Humane Slaughter Association has announced two awards for farmed fish welfare.

The two winners of the 2011 Humane Slaughter Award presented by the Humane Slaughter Association (HSA) were announced at the Association’s recent Centenary International Symposium held in Portsmouth, and both awards recognise significant work for the welfare of farmed fish.

The awards were presented on behalf of the HSA by Professor Temple Grandin of Colorado State University, USA, to Jeff Lines of Silsoe Livestock Systems for his research into electrical methods for the humane stunning and killing of farmed fish, and to John Ace-Hopkins of Ace Aquatec Limited for his work taking up this research in the development of commercial humane stunning and killing equipment for farmed fish.

The presentation took place during the HSA’s International Symposium ‘Recent Advances in the Welfare of Livestock at Slaughter’ held to mark the HSA’s Centenary this year.

Following a Farm Animal Welfare Council report in 1996 which highlighted the need for a humane method of slaughtering trout en masse, Jeff Lines led the necessary research into the electrical currents needed to stun and kill trout humanely and the ways in which this current could be applied for long enough to ensure that there was no recovery.

This research was very successful and a prototype system was soon being tested. John Ace-Hopkins worked with Jeff to develop, manufacture and make available systems based on these new scientific findings to the farmed fish industry.

James Kirkwood, HSA Chief Executive and Scientific Director, said: “Before ten years ago there was no way to humanely kill farmed fish en masse – they died slowly through suffocation when harvested from the water."

"This welfare benefit affects millions of fish. The development of this technology is a huge step forward and the HSA was very pleased to make these awards to Jeff Lines and John Ace-Hopkins.”

Over 250 delegates from 25 countries attended the HSA’s two-day Centenary International Symposium held at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on 30 June and the first of July.

Speakers included Dr Bert Lambooij of the Wageningen University and Research Centre, the Netherlands, who presented a paper on electrical stunning of farmed fish and one on electrical stunning of captured fish, and Gry Aletta Bjorlykke of the Institute of Marine Research, Norway, who talked about slaughter of Atlantic salmon.

The HSA is an independent charity that works through educational, scientific and technical advances to improve the welfare of food animals worldwide during transport, marketing and slaughter. For more information about this work visit or telephone 01582 831919, email

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