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Major global ‘seafood’ company under investigation after allegations of animal abuse

The video shows some salmon at the farm suffered from spinal deformities, and some had fungus growth eating away at their faces. Workers also slammed fish into the ground and stomped on them over and over.

MAANVI SINGH: ‘A major global seafood company is under investigation by state officials in Maine after allegations of animal abuse. Undercover footage published on Monday appears to show disfigured salmon being scooped out of cramped tanks and tossed into plastic containers where they are left to slowly suffocate at an aquaculture farm in Maine, US.

The video was filmed secretly at a salmon hatchery run by Cooke, one of the world’s largest independent seafood companies, with revenues of $1.8bn (£1.5bn) in 2018. “In this unnatural environment, many salmon at the hatchery don’t even survive long enough to be sent to slaughter at another facility,” according to Compassion Over Killing (COK), the campaigners behind the investigation. Campaigners said animal welfare was disregarded at the Cooke facility in Maine. They said the video shows some of the salmon at the farm suffered from spinal deformities, and that some had fungus growth eating away at their faces.

Workers also slammed and stomped on the fish, COK said. “I watched as their bodies were slammed into the ground over and over,” said COK’s undercover investigator in an interview with the Guardian, who got a job at Cooke’s Maine hatchery earlier this year. “I saw their scales ripped from their bodies due to the friction.” The investigator’s footage also shows workers administering vaccines, and clipping the fins of fish that do not appear to be fully anesthetised. Unlike cows and pigs, fish are not protected by a US federal law requiring the humane slaughter of farmed animals. However, COK has filed a legal complaint with the animal welfare unit of Maine’s department of agriculture, alleging animal abuse…

Cooke – a global company headquartered in Canada – operates salmon farms in the US, Scotland, and Chile. Its subsidiary True North Foods sells a line of packaged seafood meals in partnership with lifestyle guru Martha Stewart… Aquaculture accounts for half the global fish production. As wild fish stocks decline, aquaculture production will need to double by 2050, according to a report by the World Resources Institute that found that industrial fish farms are already rapidly expanding, despite risks that they can spread disease and pollute the ocean’.  SOURCE…

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