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Ban on buying live carp? Poland’s new government has a plan

Ban on buying live carp? Poland’s new government has a plan

Image source: © canva
Natalia Witulska,
16.11.2023 13:30

The upcoming Christmas holidays may be the last during which it will be possible to buy live carp. Civic Coalition MPs want to ban cruel fish trade.

Civic Coalition MPs (Polish: Koalicja Obywatelska, KO) put forward a new idea. Katarzyna Piekarska of KO has just announced filing of a motion stipulating that the sale of live fish will only be possible for fry and aquarium specimens.

The idea is quite risky and the public may not like it. In Poland, it is a tradition to keep a live carp in a bathtub before Christmas. The animal’s life is taken just before supper on Christmas Eve.

Civic Coalition and the ban on the sale of live fish

"The world is changing, and the best idea is the one for which the time has come. If we look at the public opinion polls, the time has come to ban the sale of live carp," says Katarzyna Piekarska, a member of the Parliamentary Group of Friends of Animals, in an interview with Rzeczpospolita.

It is worth emphasising that if the proposed idea could be implemented, it would be the fulfilment of the demand for which environmental organisations have been fighting for years. On the other hand, for the average consumer it would mean a ban on buying live carp. The animal would have to be slaughtered at the place of purchase by a person trained to do so.

Activists fighting for the ban on the sale of live carp point out that several million fish go on sale in a short period of time before Christmas. Therefore, their transport, slaughter and sale under humane conditions is severely restricted.

"We often see fish being kept in inadequate amounts of water. For many years there was also a problem with customers carrying live fish home in plastic bags. Fortunately, two years ago the Chief Veterinarian issued guidelines according to which fish should be carried in solid containers with water," said Cezary Wyszyński of the Viva! Foundation.

As reported by Rzeczpospolita, it is not only environmentalists but also some politicians who have been fighting for the ban on the sale of live fish for years. Unfortunately, with poor results. The Law on the Protection of Animals was attempted to be amended by KO’s MPs at the end of the PO-PSL government. Their mission failed, however.

In the last term of the Sejm, Katarzyna Piekarska and a group of MPs filed a draft concerning, among other things, the ban on the sale of live fish. In her justification, she wrote that buying live fish before Christmas is a tradition dating back to the People's Republic of Poland, when there were no fridges in homes, and in the current technological reality there is no point in continuing it. The draft has not even received a parliamentary print number.

Members of the Civic Coalition hope that in the new term of the Sejm it will be easier to get the project approved. The majority of the United Opposition (the coalition of parties that won the largest number of votes in this year’s election) supports the idea.

Source: Rzeczpospolita

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