In the first ruling of its kind, a district court in Poland sentenced a 59-year-old Polish man for three months in prison for killing carp without stunning them first in December 2018 in Krotoszyn in western Poland.
The judgement is not final and the accused sought acquittal after the announcement of the verdict.
Animal rights advocacy group Viva! informed the police that the accused committed a was killing the carp with a guillotine without prior stunning, causing torment to the animals.
On Monday, the prosecutor applied for a six-month imprisonment, even as a Viva! representative called the case a precedent and demanded a year in prison in addition to a ban on the defendant's business of breeding or selling fish for five years. Eventually, the court agreed to three months of imprisonment and a fine.
However, the defendant said he was not aware that carp could not be killed in that way. He also argued that he guillotined the fish without prior stunning at the express requests of customers who value carp killed “live”. He also promised he would never do this again.
“I do not want to spend time in prison, I have a family, grandchildren and I want to stay with them, and not sit in isolation for a dozen dead fish,” the accused added.
Feasting on carp on Christmas Eve is a widespread tradition in Central and Eastern Europe.