Polish high court says Xmas carp treated ‘inhumanely’: report
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland’s Supreme court has ruled that storing live fish, including carp eaten at Christmas, in containers without water and transporting them in plastic bags is animal abuse.
The Supreme Court’s ruling comes ahead of Christmas, a holiday where carp is traditionally eaten in Poland. The freshwater fish is often sold live, and is customarily kept alive by customers for several days in baths or other receptacles to be killed and cooked before Christmas eve.
Carp is traditionally part of 12 courses served on Christmas Eve in Poland, as night falls.
The decision overturned two earlier verdicts which found carp merchants innocent of charges of inhumane treatment of animals, the Polsat broadcaster said.
The three fish retailers were accused by animal rights activists of abusing animals after keeping carp in containers and giving them to customers in plastic bags, without any water.
They were found not guilty in a first case before the Warsaw-Mokotów Regional Court and again in an appeal before the Warsaw District Court, Polsat said.
The Supreme Court has handed the case back to the Mokotów court for review, saying that laws guarantee “real, and not just superficial protection for all vertebral animals – including fish – and there is no reason to deprive carp this right”.
Animal rights activists protest annually in the lead up to Christmas against the sale of live fish, saying that supermarkets and other retailers treat carp inhumanely. (vb/rg)