Walmart Ends Live Fish Sales After Years of PETA Complaints and Pleas

Company Nabs Delicious Vegan Chocolates in Thanks for Decision to Stop Peddling Dead and Dying Fish

For Immediate Release:
October 24, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Bentonville, Ark. – Following a decade-long PETA effort and urging from tens of thousands of PETA supporters, Walmart is ending the sale of live fish. The move comes after scores of concerned individuals contacted PETA and posted online disturbing reports of the fish’s condition, describing incidents in which fish were cruelly tossed out with the trash, left to suffocate to death slowly, or flushed down toilets. Others lingered in filthy water inside containers stacked one on top of another—along with some who were already dead—on the shelves. In thanks for Walmart’s decision to end this cruel practice, PETA is sending the company a box of vegan fish-shaped chocolates.

“Walmart’s decision will spare countless sensitive, vulnerable fish immense suffering and miserable, lonely deaths,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Walmart has wisely stopped tormenting fish and horrifying its customers, and PETA is calling on Petco and other businesses still selling living, breathing beings as merchandise to follow suit.”

In May, PETA released a video exposé revealing that listless, sick, and dead betta fish were floating inside tiny, barren plastic containers at Petco stores across the country. The horrific findings prompted PETA’s president to send an urgent letter to Petco’s CEO calling for an end to the chain’s fish sales, but the company has yet to act.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way,” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—notes that fish communicate, form bonds, grieve, and are capable of experiencing fear, pain, and stress. But in the pet trade, they’re transported from dealers to pet stores inside cramped bags and containers that bear no resemblance to their natural habitats. They’re often starved for days during transit, and many die during the journey.

For more information, please visit


For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 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