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international news _ 7th June, 2006

Goldfish Miss Their Absent Owners

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

A study of ornamental fish has revealed that goldfish have feelings and even sometimes pine for their owners when they're away, the Sunday Times reported this week.

Australian vets Richmond Loh and Matt Landos said people should start taking fish more seriously and taking their welfare into consideration, in a paper titled 'Ornamental Fish: Making Fish Smile, Sing and Dance'.

"Experiments on fish have examined the capacity of the fish to retain learnt information and be aware of consequences of certain responses . . . It has been established that fish do have some memory which can be recalled," they said.

Their conclusions matched those of US ethologist and research scientist Dr Jonathan Balcombe who raised the same point in an interview with the Belfast Telegraph and suggested fish, and all animals, could even possess a human style morality and appreciation of pleasure.

"Animals' brains appear to respond to many types of sensory pleasure, including food, drugs and sex," he said, "More abstract forms of pleasure - including social joy, love, intellectual pleasure, aesthetic appreciation and even morality - are still largely unexplored, but interest in these is stirring."

The findings could cause Adam Freeland sideman/ Motley Crue drummer Tommie Lee some issues, judging by comments he made to the Mirror last summer concerning his unusual interest in swimming with fish.

"I'm still very, very single and I like to play. I'm also into tropical fish but all that really means is that I like to have sex in the pond in the garden, with the fish swimming round," the Pacha percussionist confessed, "It's cos' the fish come up and suck on you."