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MFA’s Fish Investigation Reveals Horrors

Written by PETA | January 19, 2011

New undercover footage from our friends at Mercy for Animals shows how fish in a Texas slaughterhouse meet their end. The investigator documented workers using knives to slice off fins and pliers to peel away strips of skin from fully-conscious, struggling animals. 

According to the USDA, the amount of farm-raised catfish—like those at Catfish Corner—processed in the U.S. in October 2010 alone was 40.5 million pounds. 

Other sea animals endure similarly horrific slaughter that makes medieval torture methods look tame: crabs have their legs ripped off their bodies, one by one, while they are still alive.

Please be sure to share this video with anyone who still eats fish. Fish aren’t swimming vegetables—they are living, sentient beings who feel pain, pleasure. Fish, like all animals, deserve nothing less than the most basic, common-sense protections from cruelty.

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  • Herma Paardenkooper says:

    I agree with KOP3A and by seeing this unbelieveble crualty, I loose my drive to live and feeling so enorm powerless,how to stop this, and want to shake this sadists until they may feel the same slaugter all over themselves!!!!! Maybe then they understand.

  • adaline zalkin,md says:

    STOP IT NOW!!!

  • Tonya Hargan says:

    How the hell can people do this to animals so cruely,they feel pain and emotion just like us. and to that silly person for her/his comments,its part of nature for bears and eagles ect to hunt for their food,its the way they survive,its not like they can go to supermarkets and buy their food,completly different circumstances altogether.

  • xochilili says:

    Bears and eagles ar’nt supposed to know any better, nor do they have thumbs and a fish slaughterhouse. I have many fish in ponds and i can tell you without hesitation that they feel, they have complex ties with each other and have a high level of awareness. to treat them like this is cruel and barbaric and shows a level of inhumanity that should have left the human race by now. we live in 2011, not the 12th century. and ‘Really’ what are U doing on this site…? bugger off!

  • carolyn massey says:

    the video disgusted me god put us on this earth to take care it and its creatures i doubt he wants us to make animals suffer or abuse them before we eat them it gives even more reason to continue to not eat fish

  • Eric says:

    Hey, guys, chill out about grrace. She makes a good point, and I agree with her. Being intentionally cruel – or Republican – is despicable and unnecessary.

  • Cassandra says:

    I used to be a vegetarian who ate fish (mostly to make other people happy) up until a couple years ago.  I went on a trip to China Town NY and saw a man on the street killing fish by beating them against a table.  One fish wouldn’t die and he kept beating it & beating it. So much cruelty in China Town right on the sidewalks.  I couldn’t believe it! Haven’t eaten fish since.  I couldn’t justify it after reading about over-fishing, seeing pic of dead tuna, etc. Please think about it.

  • JanieJones says:

    While the point is taken about keeping politics out of this arena, it’s really hard not to. The republicans have done an excellent job aligning themselves with extreme groups that tend to favor oppressive policies, oven characterized by intolerance, racism, and bigotry. While nearly all politicians are aligned with corporate America, it is the republican party that defends the second amendment crowd blindly. And while your personal political philosophies may be in line with traditional republican thinking, your party has moved so far to the right, the republican party becomes more outrageous, and it’s main players and talking heads become more and more disturbing. The gun violence in this country is protected under the guise of the second amendment furiously by the right wing in the US. Sarah Palin, one of the top figureheads in the republican party appears to have no regard or respect for our animal friends. They deny the existence of climate change, they continually fight green initiatives, and spew incredibly inflammable and hurtful speech toward anybody or any group that might interfere with their role of corporate protectors. While there are some people on the other side of the political spectrum who have sold their souls to corporate interests and the gun lobby, the majority of those types of politicans are republicans or teabaggers, and they are all one in the same. It is the republican party of Reagan that broke unions in this country, creating a decades long economic downturn. It is the repbulican party of Bush Jr. that created such catostrophic deficits that one of the only options out was by trying to pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy in an array of programs in order to get the economy moving. Those extremists bringing semi-automatic weapons to Obama rallies weren’t democrats, that I’ll promise you. You can’t worship guns and protect and defend animals. It is the right wing, relentless assault on regulation of all business, including slaughterhouses that makes the types of abuse we see and hear about on a near daily basis. So while it might make you upset when you see your party taking hits on environmental issues and deregulation, you also need to remember that you’re helping put these people who are as anti-Peta as can be, into office. Do you really stand for what today’s republicans do? It’s a hard sell to believe you support those beliefs and also support animal rights. Just sayin.’

  • Marcia says:

    I just keep asking the same question over and over: What kind of people could do this to living beings. Actually, there is a second question: Where are the churches when it comes to all the animal torture in the world? How can they reconcile their view of a just and merciful God in the light of such barbaric human behavior and not call it sinful? Maybe they fear many people would leave the congregation, preferring their jobs skinning live fish, hunting, bull fighting, filling up at McDonalds, etc. As for bears and eagles eating fish–they have no choice. This is a puzzle for theodicy but is not a valid comparison.

  • Blamblamsam says:

    Aggreeing with Keith means giving up. You have power as a consumer, use it! Do not condone such behaviour. I went vegan last year, and even tho it´s really difficult, I will never eat fish again! Oh, and don´t anyone let Logan0848 rile you up. Getting angry at commenters like that are a waste of our precious energy 🙂

  • Blamblamsam says:

    We are NOT bears or eagles, we are human and have a responsibility because of our unique ability of empathy and morals. Although our `animal´ instincts are helpful and important, we should have evolved beyond them. If we only followed our basic instincts, we would probably attack, injure, rob, drive away, or kill anyone who rubbed us up the wrong way,(not to mention rape anyone who got our libidos going.) We are HUMAN, we have an advantage and we KNOW we should behave in a HUMANE way to animals. Fish feel pain, just like us. I can´t bear to watch the whole video, it makes me so ashamed, that humans can be so calous and ignorant.

  • Nickers says:

    Hey I’m a Republican and I’m a PETA supporter! No need to go for the low blows here (Grrace)

  • Sherri says:

    This is an extremely sad video so much so that I couldn’t continue to watch to the end. It’s amazing what people can do without thinking of the consequences to something that is alive, regardless of what it is. I myself live in Texas and it alarms me that we use such cruel tactics in order to make a buck. The government needs to step in and find a more humane way and solution to help any and all abused creatures.

  • Logan0848 says:

    I don’t see that it would change the way the fish tastes, so this doesn’t bother me at all.  It would be kinda dangerous with the fish flopping all around though.  It might cause you to get cut with the knife.  A cleaning board and electric knife would solve that problem though.

  • Zenna says:

    I agree with Keith.

  • kate gualtieri says:

    SEE, horrible cruelty that we accuse other countries of, goes on right here in the US…we grind live baby turkey and chicken chics alive!!! The list goes on and on!!! Hitting them in their pocketbooks is the only way to make them stop!!!!! WE have such power as consumers and we never utilize it! Stop buying all types of meat for a month and see how fast they change their ways!!!!

  • jessica says:

    OH MY GOD IM GUNNA THROW UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Chloe says:

    I will no longer be eating fish anymore. I know Jesus was a fisherman, but his fish never suffered!

  • keith says:

    Trying to stem sentient creature abuse and cruelty is like shovelling s_ _ t against an incoming tide..with a world population of some nine billion plus., it will never end until homo-sapien like the dinosaurs become extinct.

  • Loren Hart says:

    So cruel! We need laws protecting fish and other animals from these practices.

  • Tom says:

    There is a more humane way. Many places that dress fresh catfish use a hook or some other device to hang the fish on. (The hook goes through the head of the fish) This both kills the fish instantly and prevents injury to the worker. That would be better than skinning it alive

  • Irene Leggett says:

    So barbaric, cruel and totally unneccessary. How ‘people’ can work in such places and still sleep soundly at night is beyond me. No compassion or ethics.

  • Really? says:

    Politics have NOTHING to do with this, so drop your rude comments grrace. How do you people think bears and eagles eat fish?

  • Kirsten Doyle says:

    Unbelievable how we treat live. It is very sad.



  • Margaret says:

    @grrace. This unnecessary and exceedingly cruel way of cleaning (live) fish. There are compelling reasons why it is better that the fish is dead first before the slaughtering begins. When the fish is alive, its heart is beating and blood is being circulated through the entire fish. This results in bloody meat (yes, fish is meat since it’s the flesh of an animal). When the fish is dead, the blood pools in the organs leaving the fillets white instead of red. And politics have nothing to do a political party. The inhumane and heartless slaughterhouses have no concern for animal rights. The operations of these facilities need to be changed in light of the suffering these creatures of God experience while still breathing and living in obvious pain.

  • Krystal says:

    This has nothing to do with politics, Grrace. Check yourself. I am a huge animal lover and PETA supporter and I would love 10 minutes alone with the owner of this place. And I am also a republican. This i about the morals and values of moronic, stupid, and cruel individuals, and nothing to do with politics whatsoever. It moronic and stupid to think that it does. It broke my heart to watch these fish writhing in pain and yet, they can’t make a sound. Its fortunate that we have a voice to speak for them. Focus on that, and not your political views. This is not the place for it.

  • Габриэл says:

    Cruelty, Sadism and Evil does not discriminate, it makes no difference on Religion, Political affiliation,Education level,Race, Gender,Culture, or Social status. It is the one bond that unites the Human species as One, the most prevalent. Humanity is infected with this disease and sometimes, unknowingly, accepts it as a way of life. Every noble aspiration to which humans pretend to represent, Spirituality Kindness,Nobility,Mercy,Decency, Honesty,Goodness,Piety,Justice and Love are crushed by the weight and burned up by the cruelty of such atrocities and sadism and are turned into waste, day after day and have been through the Ages, hopelessly revealing our true nature, the most destructive, evil plague ever planted on the face of this Beautiful Garden, called Earth… 🙁

  • Valesca Harp says:

    This hurts my heart.

  • Carla* says:

    This is horrible!!

  • grrace says:

    Why on earth do people in the ranching, fishing, hunting industry feel the need to intentionally hurt animals? This is not necessary. I think they must suffer from some illness, or being Republican.

  • ocean17 says:

    this is just too barbaric and insane for words. totally inhumane, totally unnecessary. and these horrific slaughter techniques have got to stop, too bad these individuals don’t possess an ounce of courage.