I just read an article on the BBC web site science page which shows that decapod crustaceans can feel pain. Decapoda includes crabs, prawns, crayfish, shrimps and lobsters.
This obviously has implications for the human food industry as there are no welfare standards in place for these creatures at present, but if the evidence is borne out things will have to change in that regard.
This would also affect fishkeepers. For example, at present feeder shrimp are often fed live as they are not covered by the Animal Welfare Act, but only because of the belief until now that invertebrates cannot feel pain.
My cherry shrimp rear up and warn off the WCMMs which indicates to me that they have a level of self awareness and fear (?). They must be distressed when used as feeders so it's a no no as far as I'm concerned.
Yes, I agree from watching the behaviour of my RCS they seem to be aware. Haven't ever used feeder shrimps for similar reasons, though I do feed live brine shrimp. They come under a different order though and at the moment there's no suggestion they have the ability to feel fear or pain. But in future, with more research who knows?
jaspersdad wrote: My cherry shrimp rear up and warn off the WCMMs which indicates to me that they have a level of self awareness and fear (?). They must be distressed when used as feeders so it's a no no as far as I'm concerned.
The argument would be that those are natural reactions like a reflex that the animal has to survive. They feel that this does not correlate to experiencing the pain as a form of suffering.
In my mind there is no doubt that decapoda crustaceans can feel pain. My university (QUB) studied this in 2007 in prawns. It was clear they could feel the 'noxious stimulus' and tried to get it off and that this was reduced by adding anaesthetic. Pain was also studied in hermit crabs in 2009. They would leave shells they had been shocked in for other shells (especially if bigger shocks) also they would accept worse quality shells (this was all after the event so theymust have 'remembered' the shock and not just acted due to reflex.
Other invertebrates - heck even Drosophila (fruit flies) have pain receptors (nociceptors).
I think the idea that animals don't feel pain is based on outdated "evidence".