French pet shop stops selling fish bowls – they kill fish

Little boy with a glasses looks at goldfish in bowl, animal news
Little boy looks at fish in small bowl, photo: Lucky Images via Canva

French pet care market leader AgroBiothers Laboratoire has decided to stop selling round fish bowls because they drive fish insane and kill them fast.

The company will no longer sell any aquariums with a capacity of fewer than 15 litres and only rectangular ones. Putting fish in small bowls without oxygenation and filtration is animal abuse, the company said.

“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,” Matthieu Lambeaux, CEO of AgroBiothers, told news agency Reuters.

In large aquariums or outdoor ponds, goldfish can live up to 20 years and grow up to 40 centimeters (15 inches), but they often die within weeks or months in tiny bowls.

“What we offer children is the possibility to see goldfish die”

Matthieu Lambeaux -CEO of AgroBiothers

When goldfish are kept in small bowls, they have no space to grow while their internal organs are also still developing, causing them to die.

Lambeaux said goldfish are social animals who need the company of other fish, enough space and clean water. He added that France is Europe’s number one market for red aquarium fish.

“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,” Lambeaux said.

Germany, Italy and Finland have banned fish bowls, but France has no legislation on the issue.

AgroBiothers sold about 50,000 fish bowls per year. “There is demand for fish bowls, but the reality is that what we offer children is the possibility to see goldfish die slowly,” he said.

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