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Appendix 1

RSPCA welfare standards for farmed Atlantic salmon 62 September 2015

* indicates an amendment

Once a method of using the scales has been established and scoring can be conducted consistently,

assessments can be started on a random sample of fish. A recorder should stand behind the assessor and

write down the scores as they were called out. A random sample of 150 fish on the slaughter line should be

assessed (trials have shown approximately 150 fish can be assessed in one hour by an experienced team).

Use of the scales in the Freedom Food scheme

The results from this assessment should be used to identify areas where welfare can be improved on the

farm, by identifying causes of physical damage and taking action to rectify the situation. Records of physical

damage scale assessment must be kept and made available to the Freedom Food Assessor and RSPCA

Farm Livestock Officer, along with details of any action taken as a result of the assessment. It is expected

that the VHWP will be regularly updated, in consultation with the veterinary surgeon, to reflect the results of

the physical damage scoring assessment.

Suggested scoring system

The table below shows the score given to a fish for each condition depending on the severity of damage.

Score given to fish

0 1 2 Also note:

Type and level of damage

Eye loss/damage None One eye Both eyes Type of

damage

Snout injury None Mild Severe

Jaw deformity None Mild Severe

Operculum deformity None Mild Severe and/or

both sides

Dorsal fin damage. Type

and level of damage

None Mild Severe

Pectoral fin damage None Mild Severe and/or

both sides

Tail fin damage None Mild Severe

Spine deformity None Mild Severe

Scale loss/skin damage None < 10% each

side and

superficial

> 10% each

side and/or

deep skin

damage

Sea lice damage None Mild Severe

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