Sales of pet fish could be banned in San Francisco

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The San Francisco Animal Control and Welfare Commission wants to ban the sale of pets in the city - and that includes goldfish, guppies and other fish.

The proposed ban is to discourage impulse buys of pets and also to make it difficult for breeders who supply the city's pet shops.

Commission member Philip Gerrie said that fish were included in the ban because of the "inhumane suffering" and the way they are harvested. "It causes animal suffering," Gerrie told FOX News Radio. "Whole reefs and ecosystems are being exploited for whatever might be marketable or saleable.

"Humans are overfishing for food,” he said. “There’s a huge market for aquarium fish. That creates a demand.”

The Board of Supervisors looked at a similar ban last year, which included cats, dogs and small animals such as rats and hamsters – but it didn't include fish. That proposed ban was tabled and was due to be reconsidered by the Board of Supervisors earlier this year – however this hasn't happened.

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd told the San Francisco Chronicle he had doubts the new proposal would pass – calling it “another Animal Welfare idea that will end up in the dustbin of history and go absolutely nowhere.”

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