You have to hand it to the Norwegian government…once and for all they have settled the burning question in the minds of many sportsman: Do critters such as worms used for bait feel pain? Here’s what the study concluded:
Worms squirming on a fishhook feel no pain – nor do lobsters and crabs cooked in boiling water.
"The common earthworm has a very simple nervous system – it can be cut in two and continue with its business," Professor Wenche Farstad, who chaired the panel that drew up the report, said in a story reported by Reuters.
Norway might have considered banning the use of live worms as fish bait if the study had found they felt pain, but Farstad said: "It seems to be only reflex curling when put on the hook … They might sense something, but it is not painful and does not compromise their well-being."
The government called for the study on pain, discomfort and stress in invertebrates to help in the planned revision of Norway’s animal protection law.
Farstad said most invertebrates, including lobsters and crabs boiled alive, do not feel pain because, unlike mammals, they do not have a big brain to read the signals.
There you have it…the next time you get into a good-natured argument with a pal over simple invertebrates feeling pain…you have some solid evidence to back up your argument. Rumor also has it that mowing the lawn does NOT cause the blades of grass any discomfort either, but I guess that study has not yet been completed so for the time being pain-free grass is just a hypothesis on my part.
© 2005 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.