Current and Prospective Status for Scientific Research on Fish Welfare in Egypt


Problem statement: Fish represent an alternative protein source, as well as serves as an excellent bio indicator for pollution. Moreover, fish represent the most diverse group of animals in the vertebrate phylum, characterized by an array of anatomical, biochemical, physiological, and behavioral repertoires. Egypt has a variety of water surfaces: the River Nile, a running fresh water artery, many fresh and salty lakes, the Red Sea to the east, the Mediterranean Sea to the north, in addition to the many aquatic farms. In Egypt, fish is the third most used experimental animal in research following rats and mice, due to its importance as an alternative protein source, as well as its role as an excellent bio indicator for pollution. The 2014 Egyptian constitution in Articles 30 and 45 guarantee the preservation of animal and fish resources, the protection of those under threat of extinction, and guarantees humane treatment of animals.  The new Egyptian Penal Code 2013, the Environmental Law, and the Agricultural Law stress on the importance of fish welfare in Egypt, but there is still little legislation in place to ensure fish welfare. 

Description of research: Owing to the importance of the animal’s welfare and its pivotal role in the reproducibility and standardization of results, the present study aims to determine the current status of awareness of Egyptian researchers regarding the application of the ethical guidelines for the humane use of fish in their design of protocols presented for approval by the IACUC, and to what extent these guidelines serve as an effective mnemonic tool when reviewing fish protocols.