Protesters to Descend on Petco CEO’s Home

PETA Supporters Will Demand End to Betta Fish Sales After Undercover Investigation Reveals Immense Suffering and Death

For Immediate Release:
February 21, 2020

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

San Diego – Armed with signs proclaiming, “Ron Coughlin: Suffering Bettas Never Go Home,” a group of PETA supporters will gather outside the home of the Petco CEO to demand an end to the store’s sales of betta fish, who are sold as “starter pets” to shoppers who aren’t prepared to meet their unique needs.

When:    Saturday, February 22, 11 a.m.

Where:    Solana Beach

The protest comes after a PETA Asia investigation of 10 facilities in Thailand’s betta fish industry, including two facilities that supply fish to Petco, revealed that bettas were found gasping for air on waterless trays as workers roughly sorted them for shipping. Some, who had likely suffocated, were seen rotting on the floor. Others were found floating motionless in tanks of brown, filthy water. Bettas are typically packed without food and left to starve for days during international transport, and a worker told the eyewitness that they add a tranquilizer to the water to keep the fish from eating their own tails during the arduous journey.

“Betta fish are suffering from the minute they’re born on massive breeding farms to the minute they die, many in minuscule plastic containers on Petco’s shelves—and the buck stops with Ron Coughlin,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Petco to stop profiting from the misery of these vulnerable little animals.”

Previously, a PETA video exposé revealed that listless, sick, and dead bettas were found floating in cramped, barren plastic containers with low water levels at Petco stores across the country.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind