Pet Shop Employee Shows Cruel Way Betta Fish Are Shipped

If you think the tiny bowls of water betta fish are kept in at the pet store are cruel, then youíll be shocked to find out how they are shipped.

A†user on reddit posted detailed pictures under the title: “I work for a pet store. This is how betta fish are delivered from the vendor.”

Prepare yourself.

Many commented on the post asking questions like how many survive what appears to be a horrible and stressful shipping process. The original poster responded, “Itís true that DOAs are rare. But during the coldest/warmest months of the year, Iíve seen anywhere from 5 to 75 percent die days after from stress-induced fungal infections.”

To those who are wondering how a fish can survive in such little water, betta fish have the ability to breathe atmospheric air due to an organ called the labyrinth. This organ allows them to live in the wild in areas where other fish would not be able to thrive like large puddles, slow moving streams and drains.

Sadly, these fish can be seen at most large pet stores and are kept in tiny bowls with usually no other form of enrichment. A quick look on Petco shows that most are sold to consumers for under $5 (many of them on sale for $1.40). We assume the shipping methods are in place so that the animals can be mailed as cheaply as possible, no matter how stressful or cruel the process might be.

By Ali Berman, from ecorazzi



Melania Padilla
Melania P1 years ago

I'd never had an aquarium and never will... Shared

Christine Jones
Christine J2 years ago

Poor darlings. Yet again the almighty dollar takes precedence over animal welfare.

Briony C.
Briony C3 years ago

I just developed a distaste for Masterchef USA promoting Walmart products on their programme after finding out about the fish. Maybe we should run a petition telling Masterchef USA to boycott Walmart products.

Carrie-Anne Brown

very sad news but thanks for sharing

Carole R.
Carole R3 years ago

How very sad.

Deborah W.
Deborah W4 years ago

Minimum stewardship on captive "products" for maximum profit and transfer of responsibility to new ownership ... how American..

Cathleen K.
Cathleen K4 years ago

Horrific, but unsurprising. A fish that sells for so little would of course be treated accordingly in our capitalist system.

Diane L.
Diane L4 years ago

Kate, good points, BUT there is a difference between buying a quality purebred puppy and an exotic fish that lives in an environment in a couple of small countries half a planet away. Few of us could afford to fly to Burma, Thailand or "Siam" (isn't Siam now called something else?) and get a single fish and then fly home in 1st class aboard a Boeing jet. The time it would take on a ship would end up with dead fish.

Puppies should never be purchased from a pet store. Yes, they probably are 100% from a puppy mill since reputable breeders do not sell puppies thru a 3rd party. Some want a purebred for whatever reason. If they do, then they should definitely have the right to seek one out, but as you say, not from a PET STORE! Now, puppy mills also sell puppies via the internet, and there again, don't buy sight unseen from the internet! There ARE some breeders who advertise via the internet, but they also suggest you come in person to pick up the puppy or send a qualified representative.

Kate S.
Kate S4 years ago

There are so many examples of difference species who have this similar mistreatment. Just be conscientious of what you consume, and make your boycott lists if you think it's necessary. Look at how many puppy mills are kept in business because consumers want a purebred ! Stop buying puppies from them and they will not stay in business.

Diane L.
Diane L4 years ago

Lin, you gave your Betta a large space and it still didn't live long! Wow, ya' think maybe you lacked a bit of expertise in caring for this species? Most people do. You and people like Bonnie, who thinks she knows more about how to keep them than those who deal with them are responsible for more injustices to animals than the abusers combined, in my opinion, because you simply don't understand the needs of the animals you claim to care about.

Bonnie, I don't recall Walmart even selling tropical fish 16 or 18 years ago. Maybe they did where you live, but they just started doing so about 2 years ago where I am. You complained and were told basically that the conditions were suitable? They probably were, You claim they couldn't even "extend their fins"? Really? I've seen Bettas "display" in a bowl the size of a coffee cup or smaller. That's what they do.