Activism Gone Too Far? San Francisco Mulls Ban on Goldfish Sales

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Deshakalyan Chowdhury / AFP / Getty Images

We get it. San Francisco wants to save animals—especially the cuter ones like puppies, kittens, hamsters and now goldfish—from inhumane abuse. But how many people will say yes to being deprived of their little companions?

Recently, the San Francisco Animal Control & Welfare Commission has gotten a lot of attention for proposing to ban selling goldfish in the city. The organization is known for taking matters to the extreme. Last year, it had suggested banning the sale of puppies, kittens and hamsters, hoping to put pressure on commercial breeders who operate poorly conditioned mills. The board of supervisors had postponed the decision for a few months and later dropped the issue all together. Looks like this year’s proposal is headed for a similar path. One of the supervisors, Sean Elsbernd called the new suggestion “another Animal Welfare idea that will end up in the dustbin of history and go absolutely nowhere.”

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As much as we’d like to keep our pets, however, the committee does have a point in bringing to attention the harms greedy commercialization has caused on animals and environment. “Most fish in aquariums are either mass bred under inhumane conditions or taken from the wild,” commission member Philip Gerrie, a member of the commission pointed out. “That leads to devastation of tropical fish from places like Southeast Asia.”

Besides the pet sales restrictions, San Francisco has had other out-there banning ideas, such as circumcision and Happy Meals.

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