PARIS, January 22 – A major French aquarium seller has decided to stop selling round fish bowls because they drive fish crazy and kill them quickly.
The French leader in the pet care market, AgroBiothers Laboratoire, will no longer sell aquariums with a capacity of less than 3.9 gallons and only rectangular aquariums, because putting fish in small bowls without filtration or oxygenation is animal abuse, he said.
“People buy a goldfish for their kids on a whim, but if they knew how torture it is, they wouldn’t. Spinning around in a small bowl drives the fish crazy and kills them. quickly,” AgroBiothers CEO Matthieu Lambeaux told Reuters.
Goldfish can live up to 30 years and grow to around 25cm in large aquariums or outdoor ponds, but in tiny bowls they often die within weeks or months.
He said goldfish are social animals that need the company of other fish, plenty of space and clean water, and having an aquarium requires minimal equipment and expertise.
France is Europe’s top market for aquarium goldfish, with around 2.3 million fish, Lambeaux said.
Germany and several other European countries have long banned fish bowls, but France has no legislation on the matter.
“It’s a French anachronism, which is why we decided to move. We cannot educate all of our customers to explain to them that keeping fish in a bowl is cruel. We see it as our responsibility to no longer give consumers that choice,” Lambeaux said.
AgroBiothers, which has a French market share of around 27% in pet care products, sold around 50,000 aquariums a year at around 20 euros each in previous years.
“There’s a demand for fishbowls, but the reality is what we’re giving kids is the chance to watch the goldfish slowly die,” he said.