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Andrew Butler, PETA:
"Fish have all the biological systems in place to feel pain"
 real 28k

Monday, 12 February, 2001, 11:35 GMT
Animal activists target anglers
anglers
Anglers say their sport is harmless
Animal rights activists are broadening their campaign to include anglers because they believe fishing is cruel.

The pressure group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, (Peta) thinks fishing should be outlawed, describing it as "hunting on water".

But unlike the direct action associated with hunt saboteurs, Peta, which advocates peaceful protest, will use a different approach.

Speaking on BBC Radio Four's Today programme, Andrew Butler revealed his organisation was planning a nationwide advertising campaign.


It's unlikely that fish feel pain in the same way humans do"

Chris Pourpard
National Angling Association
"We have been involved in the fox hunting debate and I think angling is part of the same debate," he said.

"It is still a blood sport. Angling is torturing animals for pleasure."

But this claim is challenged by the National Angling Alliance (NAA).

Chris Pourpard from the NAA said: "I have got 3.5 million colleagues who all go fishing and I'm sure if we thought fishing was cruel then we wouldn't do it.

"We have done our own research from independent scientists and that has come to a conclusion that it's unlikely that fish feel pain in the same way humans do."

He added that angling contributed 3.4bn to the economy, including rod licences and tackle expenditure.

But Peta is not convinced, saying that as it is a blood sport it deserves to be at the forefront of public debate, like fox hunting.

The group has already achieved success in previous campaigns, after persuading two major sponsors of angling events - Mitsubishi and John Smiths - to withdraw support for the sport.

It also points out that the Hampshire Wildlife Trust has chosen to ban all fishing on its land.

Peta's latest advertising campaign will begin in the spring, with a hard-hitting series of adverts appearing in magazines and on billboards.

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18 Jan 01 | UK Politics
Animal demos may prompt law change
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