Recently, I walked down the fish aisle at the local PETsMART. I was appalled to see more than 100 small, clear plastic cups, each with a single Beta fish inside. Some were too big to even turn around inside the too-small cups.I said to the manager that I was aware that Betas are carnivorous and had to be segregated. However, there had to be a better way to do it. His explanation was, "That's the way it's always been done. All the pet stores do it."I reject the manager's premise that "it's always been done that way so it must be the right way." That theory has been rebuked consistently throughout the history of mankind. Animal lovers the world over have decried inhumane conditions foisted upon animals who are dependent on their caregivers. Fish should have no less protection.PETsMART prides itself upon the care they provide for their animals, even to the point of refusing to sell dogs and cats and promoting adoption instead. I would hope that PETsMART and other pet stores rethink their policy of the cruel pra
L.P.T., Friendswood, TX May 30, 2004
You should contact The Humane Society of the United States, 2100 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20037, since they have close ties with PETsMART's animal charity division and share your concerns. Mark your letter to the attention of Wayne Pacelle, the president-designate of the HSUS.I agree with you that humane treatment is most urgently needed. This includes standards of care established according to species' needs and properly-trained staff in order to reduce the stress and suffering of these fish and other animals, especially caged birds and small mammals for sale in pet and variety stores from coast to coast.ANIMALS IN THE NEWS: PARROT PRODIGYScientists and the lay public alike are in awe of an African gray parrot called N'Kisi, who has a vocabulary of 950 words. He uses words in context, with past, present and future tenses, and even invents new words. Seeing another parrot hanging upside down from its perch, he said to observers, "You got to put this bird on the camera" according to a BBC News report. N'Ki
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