BAD LINK - Re: Pain & Insects ?

priamus at priamus at
Thu May 11 19:18:14 EDT 2000

In article <8ff1ph$n5e$1 at>,
  priamus at wrote:
> Does anyone know of any other research being carried out in this
> 9999&pg=/et/00/5/11/nfly11.html
> Cheers,
> Chris Hocking

Sorry about the bad Link. Here's the article:-

 ISSUE 1812 Thursday 11 May 2000

 Cockroach capable of feeling pain, says study
 By Roger Highfield, Science Editor

THE discovery that slugs, snails and flies apparently feel pain could
change forever the way human beings treat the rest of the animal
kingdom, it was claimed yesterday.

Studies also found that cockroaches have the capacity to suffer, cows
can react emotionally and sheep can distinguish one person from another,
therefore possessing the concept of what it means to be an individual.

Dr Stephen Wickens, of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare
charity (UFAW), said society often looked to scientists to tell them
where to draw a line in their concern for animals, but that line was
becoming increasingly blurred.

At a symposium in London today, organised by UFAW, scientists will
debate whether and how animals feel, a concept central to arguments
about animal welfare and the range of species that deserved special

Dr Wickens said: "The idea is to debate where you can draw the line on
consciousness, if at all. People who think insects don't feel any pain
may be wrong. Perhaps people should think twice before reaching for the
fly spray."

The meeting at the Zoological Society will be told by Dr Chris Sherwin,
of the University of Bristol, that the criterion used to assess the
mental state of vertebrates, whether dogs, cats or chimpanzees, often
produced similar results among insects.

Dr Sherwin said: "If a chimp pulls its hand away after an electric
shock, we say she presumably must have felt an analogous subjective
experience to what we call pain. But cockroaches, slugs and snails -
which are not protected by legislation - also reacted in the same way,
while tests on flies showed they could associate a smell with receiving
an electric shock.

"If it is a chimp we say it feels pain, if a fly we don't. Why? Slugs
will perform in some of these tests the same way as dogs, chimps and
cats. They show far more complex patterns of behaviour than we had
thought. And if they do feel pain, isn't that a welfare issue?"

Dr Keith Kendrick, of the Babraham Institute, Cambridge, will report to
the meeting that while sheep can not be said to be conscious in a human
manner, "the way they recognise faces and the way they process face
images is very similar to the way we do it".

Dr Kendrick, who admitted that he occasionally ate lamb despite his
findings, said: "Even animals like sheep are doing things as far as the
brain is concerned that are so similar to us it does imply that they are
capable of some level of consciousness."

Another team, led by Prof Don Broom, of the University of Cambridge,
will report studies of young cattle which concluded "that cattle can
react emotionally".

Dr Wickens said animal welfare policies were dependent upon the extent
to which people believed animals were capable of conscious states such
as pain, anxiety and boredom. He hoped the discussion of the latest
scientific discoveries in this field would help resolve the different
ways in which cultures around the world treated animals.

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