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SAN FRANCISCO BANS GOLDFISH


SAN FRANCISCO – The Animal Control and Welfare Commission has banned the sale of goldfish.

The original law puts the squeeze on puppy and kitten mills that supply pet stores, and to discourage “impulse buys” of hamsters and other small pets that often wind up being dumped at shelters.

But now it covers goldfish, guppies and tropical fish.

“Most fish in aquariums are either mass bred” under inhumane conditions “or taken from the wild,” commission member Philip Gerrie said. That leads to “devastation of tropical fish from places like Southeast Asia,” he said.

The ban, which the commission just adopted after a year of study, was expanded to cover animal breeders as well as pet stores. As you might expect, it has local merchants like Ocean Aquarium owner Justin Hau dumbfounded.

“The city is taking more and more control,” Hau said. “They are very stupid.”

Commission President Sally Stephens, who opposed the ban because it would include small animal-breeding operations, says it’s up to the Board of Supervisors to make the final call.

“No more goldfish in San Francisco.  It’s done.” Stephens said.

The Commission recently approved a ban on declawing cats.

Supervisor Eric Mar, who introduced a measure Tuesday to keep big pet store chains out of the Richmond District, was noncommittal about the commission’s latest law.

Supervisor Sean Elsberand wasted no time in saying “this is another Animal Welfare idea that will go down in the history of San Francisco as a progressive city.”