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Animal Welfare Research Group

Department of Production Animal Clinical Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Fish welfare 

Opioid regulation of nociception and motivation in fish (2012-2014)

The objective of this project is to provide a better understanding of how the mu-opioid receptor agonist morphine influences pain and motivation in fish. There is a need for good analgesic protocols for fish, and morphine is often used as a gold-standard against which the effects of other analgesics are compared. However, there are large discrepancies in the existing literature as to which doses of morphine are effective in different fish species and different tests. We therefore test the dose-response relationship of morphine on pain and motivation in zebrafish and Atlantic salmon. Both of these species are important lab fish, and salmon is also the main aquacultural species in Norway. The project is financed by the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science through a postdoc grant for Janicke Nordgreen.


Local researchers:

Tor Einar Horsberg (PI)

Janicke Nordgreen 

Fernanda Machado Tahamtani

Andrew M. Janczak


Collaboration: 

Stanford University, Department of Comparative Medicine, J. Garner


Relevant newspaper artricle:  The Hook That Hurts: Scientists Tip the Scales Against Anglers 

Lecture given at NORECOPA (Norwegian consensus platform for replacement, reduction and refinement of animal experiments) yearly meeting, June 13th, 2013: Which animals feeel pain?