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San Francisco to Ban Sales of Goldfish?

“Conditions are inhumane,” says commission member

San Francisco is named after the patron saint of animals. And the city’s Animal Control and Welfare Commission is living up to the name of St. Francis with a new push to ban the sale of many kinds of pet animals.

Last year, the commission proposed a ban on puppy mills, kitten breeders, and those who breed and sell small pets like hamsters. This year, it has raised the ante by including tropical fish.

“Most fish in aquariums are either mass bred under inhumane conditions or taken from the wild,” commission member Philip Gerrie, a member of the commission pointed out. “That leads to devastation of tropical fish from places like Southeast Asia.”

The recommendation now goes to the City Supervisors, where it will face stiff opposition from the pet industry lobby.

“This is another animal welfare idea that will end up in the dustbin of history,” Supervisor Sean Elsbernd predicted.

Supervisor Elsbernd should not be too sure of himself, however. Albuquerque, El Paso and West Hollywood have already banned the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores. And Los Angeles is moving in the direction of a similar ban.