Several imports of genetically modified fluorescent fish were recently seized in Belgium, according to the Public Health, Food Chain Security and Environment SPF’s Animal Welfare Inspection department. Artificially coloured or genetically modified fish are banned in Belgium, and throughout the European Union. The fish seized are the multicoloured Danio rerio breed, and come from Sri Lanka. These fish could be a potential environmental risk – especially for biodiversity – as well a risk to human and animal health. Artificially colouring fish is also against the law on animal welfare.
Various techniques are used to colour ornamental fish. They include dipping them in baths of chemical products or injecting them with coloured products. These methods are not only painful to the fish, they can also kill them. These methods cheat the buyer too.
Another way of “colouring” fish is genetic modification. The fish then become genetically modified organisms (OGM), which are banned in the European Union. The SPF says that people caught importing and distributing aquarium fish that break these rules will be severely punished.