Protesters to Tell Petco: Selling Fish is Killing Them. Stop!

PETA Will Call On Chain to Pull the Plug on Irresponsible Sales of Betta Fish

For Immediate Release:
March 4, 2019

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Winter Park, Fla. – On Tuesday, a school of PETA supporters will descend on a Petco store in Winter Park to protest the notorious pet store chain’s sale of betta fish—who are kept there in cramped plastic containers stacked on top of one another—and its irresponsible promotion of the complex aquatic animals as decorations to “brighten up the office.” The protesters will hold signs proclaiming, “PETNO: Where Fish Are Fighting for Their Life.”

When:    Tuesday, March 5, 12 noon

Where:    Petco, 501 Orlando Ave., Winter Park

PETA’s investigations of the pet trade have revealed that individual bettas are confined to small bags in boxes that are stacked up in massive wholesale warehouses. The fish are often starved for several days during the transport process, and many fish die before and during shipment to retailers, which can take days. In addition, people who buy bettas are often misled into believing that they should be housed alone, leading to solitary confinement for these fish, who would coexist with others in the wild.

“It’s unacceptable that Petco customers regularly discover dead, sick, or injured bettas floating in cups of filthy water on the chain’s shelves,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Petco to stop exploiting and selling these complex animals.”

PETA (whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”) points out that Rite Aid and Walgreens confirmed that they’ll no longer sell Teddy Tanks—stuffed animals with cramped, barren fish tanks in their stomachs—and that Kimpton Hotels recently ended its “rent-a-fish” program.

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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