A PETA video of Thailand’s betta fish industry shows the neglect and cruel treatment of fish who are bred to be sold as “pets” or decorations. Bettas are shown kept in small containers with so little water that their bodies are barely covered.
Bettas sold in the U.S. usually come from breeding factories in Southeast Asia, and Thailand is one of the top sellers. Dead fish were found at every facility PETA Asia’s investigator (someone who saw all this happen) visited. Many died in breeding tanks, and workers didn’t bother to remove the dead bodies.
When betta fish are shipped around the world, they’re often packed without any food—even though the trip can take several days. A worker told the investigator that a drug given to help with stress, known as a tranquilizer, is added to the water so the fish won’t eat their own tails!
Many bettas die before reaching their destination. According to one worker, a company that supplies Petco ships 100,000 bettas per week to the U.S. and up to 1,000 of them die on the way.
PETA’s previous investigations of the betta trade have uncovered serious neglect. At Petco stores around the U.S., dead and dying betta fish were found floating in cups of dirty water and some were left to suffer from painful health conditions. Petco employees admitted that the trip to stores is so stressful that the fish often get sick and die shortly after they arrive, saying that they’re more likely to have health problems because of the small cups they’re kept in.
Bettas are vibrant, complex animals with specific needs. To be healthy, each one needs at least 2.5 gallons of clean, filtered, flowing water.
Selling and buying betta fish is causing serious suffering! Please don’t buy bettas or support pet stores that sell them, and encourage your family and friends to do the same.