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What percentage of fish produced worldwide will be stunned prior to slaughter, in the first year in which credible estimates are published in the five year period starting in 2027

Stunning is the process of rendering animals immobile or unconscious, with or without killing the animal, when or immediately prior to slaughtering them for food to eliminate pain, discomfort and stress from the procedure (FAO, 2001).

In the EU, Council Regulation 1099/2009 requires that all animals to be killed for human consumption must be stunned before they are slaughtered, meaning that they should be unconscious when they are killed to avoid suffering. There are, however, some exceptions to this rule, founded on the cultural traditions or religious rites of a number of sectors of the populations (EU, 2019).

Yet, while includes specific requirements for the slaughter of terrestrial species farmed for food, fish are excluded from much of the recommendations (European Union, 2009) due to differences in physiology and slaughter context, and less developed understanding of the stunning process for fish.

Similarly, in the U.S., the Humane Slaughter Act requires animals should be stunned into unconsciousness prior to their slaughter but this excludes poultry, fish, rabbits.

Advocacy groups have suggested using stunning techniques. In 2009, the Animal Health and Welfare panel (EFSA) recommended the “urgent development of commercial stunning methods to induce immediate (or rapid) unconsciousness in… seabream” (EFSA, 2009, p. 2).

The Humane Slaughter Association (2018) points out that further development of humane stunning techniques is required for a greater range of species of finfish than current techniques currently permit, to suit their various rearing environments and to minimise handling and movement prior to death which can cause stress and chemical and physical deterioration in product quality.

According to an appropriately named expert on fish stunning, van de Vis, currently 3 to 4% of farmed fish stunned globally.

What percentage of fish produced in aquaculture worldwide will be estimated to be stunned prior to slaughter, in the first year in which credible estimates are published in the five year period starting in 2027?


Resolution

This question resolves as the percentage of fish produced in aquaculture worldwide estimated to be stunned in the first calendar year between 2027 and 2032 (inclusive) for which both credible estimates of the number of fish stunned worldwide in aquacultural production are available, and credible estimates for the total number of fish produced by aquacultural production are available.

For the purpose of this question, credible estimates, should be those in research deemed sufficiently rigorous and reliable for an admin to judge that there is ≥90% chance for the true number to be within 25% of the median of the estimate.

Stunning here refers to any method method that renders the fish immobile or unconscious, with or without killing the animal, when or immediately prior to slaughtering them for food, such as by percussive or electrical stunning. Live chilling, or asphyxiation in any manner (e.g., air, CO2) are not qualifying stunning procedures.

In the case multiple estimates are found upon resolving, the admin may choose to resolve this question as the median of different estimates, or resolve it per the estimate deemed most credible.

In case there are at least three objections from predictors to the admin's preferred resolution, the admin should consult one or more researchers with at least one publication related to national or global fish production, or fish stunning, who shall arbitrate the dispute.

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