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Does Eyestalk Ablation Cause “Pain and Trauma”?


Animals Australia, an animal protection group, has branded eyestalk ablation, the cutting off of one eye from a female shrimp to encourage sexual maturation, a “cruel” practice.  Animals Australia CEO Glenys Oogjes believes the procedure subjects prawns to “pain and trauma”.  A petition on Animals Australia’s website called “Stop Cutting Eyes Off Live Prawns” has more than 23,852 signatures (as of September 7, 2017).


Matt West, president of the Australian Prawn Farmers Association and general manager of Australian Prawn Farms, said the industry could not exist without the practice of eyestalk ablation, which could be made less painful with anesthesia.  He said the technique causes less damage to the wild shrimp population because it allows shrimp breeders to capture fewer wild females for breeding purposes.


Video: You can view a dramatized video of an ablation at Animals Australia’s website.


Shrimp News: There’s a fairly large body of scientific research that shows that lobsters feel no pain when dropped into a pot of boiling water.


Sources: 1. The Sydney Morning Herald.  Prawn Farmers Defend Eye Removal as Animals Activists Call for Its Ban.  September 6, 2017.  2. Animals Australia Website.  Website Visit on September 7, 2017).


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