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Old 01-07-2005, 02:25 PM   #31
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I decided to do a search here on "Euthanasia" to see what other suggestions had come up. As I have never done the freezer method and have always been skeptical of its... humanity (right word?).

anyway, what I found in some very old posts, are actually discussions of using a clove oil bath that anesthetizes the fish (puts it to sleep), which is then placed in some water in the freezer to be euthanized while the fish is unconscious. If this is true (anyone here heard of using clove oil?) then I would say that could be the best way to go. putting it to sleep doesn't stress the animal and if it "goes" while unconscious I would think that best.

I'll have to google fish and clove oil

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Old 01-07-2005, 02:42 PM   #32
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I have used clove oil a few times. It puts the fish to sleep quickly if it is diluted well. By default, clove oil will float on the surface so you really have to mix it. When you use the clove oil, you can add in a few drops of vodka to allow it to dilute into the water best.

Also, if someone can not find "clove oil", you can find it in the tooth care department sold as Red Cross (for tootchaches). Come in a little white box with a red cross on it, usually around $4. Right next to the ambesol and all that other stuff you stick on hurt teeth.

I have found that the combinatin of clove oil diluted in water + making the water ice cold is the best, at least from the perspective of seeming painless for the fish. At the fish hits the water, it very much appears to pass on instantly. From what I can tell, the shock of the cold water puts the fish into shock, then if it were to try to breathe, the clove oil would put it to sleep further.

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Old 01-07-2005, 02:48 PM   #33
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Sounds like a good method. I was always told freezing was the way to go, but methods change over time, some for the better.
I hope I never have to do this, but good info.
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Old 01-07-2005, 02:53 PM   #34
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There seem to be a number of sites that discuss the use of clove oil. I think if I ever had to do it, I would follow the instructions on this site:

That site covers a few respectable ways to euthanise fish (although I disagree with the "stunning" as I find it hard to comprehend that the average hobbiest, myself included, will be able to accurately and cleanly deliver a "stunning blow")
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Old 01-07-2005, 02:58 PM   #35
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I think the mistake many people may be making on the normal "freeze the fish" method, may be that they are simply placing the fish in the freezer in a bag. I could see that causing a lot of stress by putting the fish in direct contact with ice, as well as not being in water to breathe.

as the link i posted above suggests, even after a dose of clove oil, the fish could possibly recover and so it's suggested that after they have succomed to the clove oil, to place that bowl of fish water with clove oil in the freezer with the fish still in. This would, it seems to me, ensure that the fish stays anesthetized until the water in the bowl and the fish freeze solid, ensuring the fish has been killed.

also, they say you can find clove oil at home brewery supply stores, or in aroma therapy stores. But I would be sure you are getting PURE clove oil, and not "Clove scented" oils.
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Old 01-07-2005, 03:24 PM   #36
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Any fisherman will tell you, "Hold it down, knock it out with a sharp blow to the head/skull, then slice the head off." However, I find it a little impractical to do this with fish less than 6" in length. This method is referred to as "Stunning" in the article provided. Seems to be the most simple, fast, and effective way of doing things. This topic is sensitive to us because we are harboring and caring for these creatures. I have much less sympathy, and emotion for a large-mouth bass that I just reeled in. I'd be thinking, "Mmm, food!" Not, "Awww, my $50 fishy " ..heh
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Old 01-07-2005, 06:59 PM   #37
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I've always heard that freezing to death is not an upleasant way to go....and so I might assume that it is similar for a fish. Metabolism just slows to a stop...It's not quick, but it may not be traumatic or painful either. (Yes, the fish is in water the entire time)

Of course, it may almost be too subtle. One would have to ensure that the frozen fish is truly dead. Tropical fish are probably not capable of surviving that kind of temperature..but freshwater fish might.
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Old 01-07-2005, 07:08 PM   #38
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This thread has provided a lot of information, insight and broad opinions on this subject. Although I hope I never have the displeasure of needing to do it, at least I now know what to do (which is the purpose of this discussion).
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Old 01-07-2005, 10:55 PM   #39
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I have killed many things in my life. Mostly for food, others because it had to be done to reduce suffering or self protection. There are only two ways to do it quickly.

Inject something that will stop the central nervous system or crush the brain housing area. This is the only way I have seen it done quickly and without suffering. You can smash it's head in with a hammer, or you can use ice cold water with clove oil. I consider "freezing" or "ice cold water with clove oil" similar to you or me slowly sinking to the bottom of the ocean as we are drowning in the North Pacific.

Smashing somethings head is disgusting and brute, but it is very quick. If you are worried about messing it up, then practice many times before you do it. If it was me who was horrible sick and in pain, I would want the quick and easy way out. I would not want to be dropped in freezing water with pollutants where people speculated "does it really hurt him? Ohhh, I hope it's a quick death! Ohh, he stopped moving so it must really work!" If you are that concerned about the pain and suffering of the animal then you owe it to them to practice before the event occurs.

Destroying the brain housing area gets the job done. Do it like you were the sick fishy. If I am in pain and dying, I wouldn't care if you splattered my head all over the place. Just end the suffering pleeeeeease.
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Old 01-08-2005, 12:30 AM   #40
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Hmm I guess I started something in this post! It's unfortunate that some people find this a topic to have fun with when in actuality its something that may at some point have to be done.

To be honest with everybody, my day job is a butcher. I've done everything from killing animals like pigs,cows all the way to cutting the steak to sell to the public. This doesnt mean that I dont have feelings when it comes to putting down an animal nevermind one that I've become attached to like fish. I want to make sure its as humane as possible.

I guess the conclusion I've made is severing the head is the best way to go. Yours might vary.

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