French firm stops selling goldfish bowls claiming they drive the creatures ‘crazy and kill them quickly’
A French pet care company has stopped selling round fish bowls because they drive fish mad and kill them quickly.
Aquarium firm AgroBiothers Laboratoire says putting fish in small bowls without proper filters and oxygen systems is animal abuse.
It has committed to no longer selling aquariums with a capacity of less than 15 litres and only rectangular ones.
“People buy a goldfish for their kids on impulse, but if they knew what a torture it is, they would not do it. Turning round and round in a small bowl drives fish crazy and kills them quickly,” said ceo Matthieu Lambeaux.
Goldfish can live up to 30 years and grow to about 25cm in big aquariums or outdoor ponds, but in tiny bowls they often die within weeks or months.
Mr Lambeaux said goldfish are social animals that need the company of other fish, ample space and clean water, and that having an aquarium requires a minimum of equipment and expertise.
France is Europe’s number one market for red aquarium fish, with about 2.3 million fish, Mr Lambeaux said.
Germany and several other European countries have long banned fish bowls, but France has no legislation.
“It is a French anachronism, that is why we decided to move. We cannot educate all our customers to explain that keeping fish in a bowl is cruel. We consider that it is our responsibility to no longer give consumers that choice,” Mr Lambeaux added.
“There is demand for fish bowls, but the reality is that what we offer children is the possibility to see gold fish die slowly.”