People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have written letters to the police and the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) in protest to designer, Lakshya Pahuja’s live fish necklace design.
The necklaces will see small betta fish encased in acrylic blocks and worn at the India International Jewellery Show next week (August 15 – 19).
PETA argue that fish are intelligent, sensitive animals that can experience distress and express that confining them to an item so small will cause suffering and could result in death. The charity also cites a review of more than 500 studies showing that ‘fish are intelligent, sensitive animals who feel pain and fear just as all animals do.’
Pahuja has commented that ‘fighter fish require absolutely no oxygen.’
PETA’s letter to the AWBI reads:
Dear Dr. Kharb,
As you know from our letter to Mr Lakshya Pahuja, a Mumbai based designer, there is a matter of grave concern affecting the life of a fish who will be trapped in a necklace for showcasing at the upcoming India International Jewellry Show (from the15th to the 19th of August, 2010). Our office has been inundated with calls from people across the country who are outraged to hear about this cruel display.
As you probably know, fish are sensitive, intelligent animals capable of feeling pain and suffering. Scientists who study pain explain that the pain response fish experience is basically identical to the pain response system in mammals and birds. Fish also lead complex intellectual lives that rival those of dogs and some other mammals. An issue of the journal Fish and Fisheries, devoted to learning, cited more than 500 research papers on fish intelligence, proving that fish are smart, that some can use tools, and that they have impressive long-term memories and sophisticated social structures. Being handled and then trapped in a necklace – in which the fish would bang against the sides as the person wearing the necklace moves – and being confined to a frustrating and confusing environment where oxygen would be compromised, is certain to cause unimaginable distress, suffering and likely death to the fish.
We beseech the AWBI to immediately send a notice to Lakshya Pahuja since this is an act of deliberate cruelty in contravention of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, demanding that he not use a fish in this way.
Mr. Pahuja can be reached on email@example.com, mobile 9820040564 or via his manager Mr. Raj Das on firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile 99769029178.
May we please receive a copy of AWBI’s communication to Mr. Pahuja?
Thank you for your time and attention to this issue.
Sachin Bangera, Senior Coordinator
Media & Communications