PETA Asia Exposé Reveals Widespread Neglect on Thailand Fish Farms
For Immediate Release:
December 9, 2019
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
San Diego – In a new PETA Asia eyewitness exposé of 10 facilities in Thailand that supply betta fish to pet stores around the world—including two that supply Petco—bettas were found gasping for air on waterless trays as workers roughly sorted them for shipping, and some, who had likely suffocated, were seen rotting on the floor. Thousands of bottles containing individually isolated fish were packed together so tightly on warehouse floors that people could walk over the tops of them. Other bettas were found floating motionless in tanks of brown, filthy water.
Dead fish were found at every location, and the bodies of the deceased were left to decompose among live bettas. Footage from one facility reveals that bettas were 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—both of which are common practices in the industry. According to a worker at one Thai supplier to Petcothose with tails that were considered imperfect and deemed unprofitable were dumped into a nearby canal or pond to fend for themselves.
“PETA is calling on Petco to stop bankrolling the horrendous neglect and mistreatment of these complex, vulnerable animals by ending its sales of them immediately,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “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.”
A manager of one Petco supplier reported that the company ships 100,000 bettas each week to the U.S., and up to 1,000 die before they even reach their destination. PETA’s efforts to push Petco to end its sale of betta fish include holding protests and follow an eyewitness investigation documenting the animals’ neglect and suffering on the store’s shelves across the country.
Broadcast-quality video footage from PETA Asia’s exposé is available here, and photos are available here. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence toward other animals. For more information, please visit PETA.org.