How are farmed Scottish salmon killed?

All fish farmed by Scotland's salmon producers are humanely slaughtered at the point of harvest.

This means that 100% of Scottish salmon are stunned, either percussively or electrically, to render them fully unconscious prior to bleeding.

This is a process carried out by dedicated trained staff, who have access to emergency stunners should they be required. It means that fish can taken from the water, stunned, slaughtered and placed onto ice for transport in a matter of seconds.

All of Scotland's salmon farmers belong to animal welfare accreditation schemes including RSPCA Assured, ASC, GlobalGap and BAP, who undertake regular on-site assessments and audits - including ensuring that all humane slaughter protocols and standards are met or exceeded.

The Scottish salmon farming sector has an exemplary record with regard to humane slaughter and should not be considered alongside producers in other parts of the world who do not follow the same codes of good practice.

Scotland’s salmon farmers are committed to maintaining the highest health and welfare standards for their fish and to being world-leading to growing healthy, nutritious food in the most responsible and sustainable way.

What is formalin

What is formalin?

Formalin is a 37% aqueous (water) solution of formaldehyde and is an authorised medicine. Formaldehyde is the active ingredient that is used to treat some waterborne micro-organisms. Formaldehyde occurs naturally in the environment.

Why is it used?

Like all other livestock sectors, salmon farmers use licensed veterinary medicines and compounds (such as disinfectants) as part of their integrated approach to protecting the health and welfare of their fish.

Why is salmon pink?

The colour of a salmon’s flesh, whether wild or farmed, is determined by its diet. Ranging from orange to ivory-pink, flesh coloration is a result of the levels of organic pigments, known as carotenoids, present in what the fish has eaten.

There are more than 600 naturally occurring carotenoids; they are what make carrots and pumpkins orange, daffodils and sweetcorn yellow and what produces the spectacular colour changes in autumn leaves.

What is emamectin benzoate?

What is it?

Emamectin benzoate is the active ingredient in a veterinary medicine, prescribed to treat sea lice. It is a an avermectin, one of a series of drugs used to treat parasites. Emamectin benzoate is used in agricultural settings to control insects among vegetable crops such as cabbage and broccoli.

Why is it used?

What is Deltamethrin?

What is it?

Deltamethrin is the active ingredient in a veterinary medicine, prescribed to treat sea lice. It is a synthetic pyrethroid which mimics natural chemicals produced in certain chrysanthemum flowers. In agriculture it is used in the control of ticks and is also one of the primary ingredients found in household ant powders.

Why is it used?

What are sea lice?

Sea lice are naturally occurring ectoparasitic copepods which can affect both wild and farmed fish populations. They are tiny, translucent fish parasites and do not affect humans. How planktonic stages of sea lice disperse and find new hosts is still not completely known but sea temperature, light, and currents are all major factors.

What is Azamethiphos?

What is it?

Azamethiphos is the active ingredient in Salmosan, a veterinary medicine prescribed by fish vets to treat sea lice.

Why is is used?

Sea lice are naturally occurring ectoparasites that can cause harm to fish. In order for the Scottish salmon sector to maintain the highest standards of fish health and welfare it is necessary to use medicines alongside a selection of alternative management measures (Figure 1).

Salmon mortality: what are the causes?

Fish health and welfare are at the heart of successful Scottish salmon farming. It is in everyone’s interests to operate to the highest of welfare standards.

The reproductive strategy of fish is to produce a large number of offspring so that a proportion will survive to adulthood. 

Fish, including farmed fish, are subject to a number of pressures in the environment, particularly naturally present pathogens. It can, therefore, be expected that some fish will experience challenges to their health. 

Why is hydrogen peroxide used by salmon farmers

What is hydrogen peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide is water with an extra oxygen molecule. It is a naturally occurring substance found in the atmosphere, soil and water, and is naturally produced by many living organisms including humans in breast milk. It also has many commercial applications including, sterilisation of juice and milk cartons, hair and teeth bleaching and as a disinfectant for contact lenses.

Why is hydrogen peroxide used in salmon farming?

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