By Vivian Po, Jun 20, 2011 4:05 PM
San Francisco’s Animal Control and Welfare Commission is once again pushing for a ban on pet sales in the city, and this time, they’ve amended the proposal to include a ban on goldfish, guppies and tropical fish – something local Chinese American pet shop owners say is "ridiculous." The proposal would also ban the sales of puppies, kittens, hamsters, snakes, rats and some other animals.
The idea behind the ban is to discourage inhumane practices of mass reproduction of puppies and kittens, and to limit the number of animals being abandoned and ending up in shelters. It is doubtful, however, that it will pass.
In an interview with World Journal, John Chan, manager of the store Pet Central, located on Broadway in San Francisco, said pet shops bring in taxes for the city government. If the ban passes, he said, pet shops will either close or relocate to other cities, which would not only take away local tax dollars, but
take away local employment opportunities as well.
"This is a ridiculous city," said Chan, who criticized the local government for allowing legal marijuana sales in the city but not pet sales.
Many Chinese-American residents and restaurant owners also like to have goldfish in their home or business for good Feng Shui.
Goldfish owner Kam Hui is one of them. In his home in the Sunset District, he has several large fish tanks of goldfish.
He said decision makers in the city are getting too extreme. First they banned gifts in McDonald’s Happy Meals, he said; now they are targeting pet shops. He said he does not understand the need to ban goldfish, adding that he’d never heard of anyone abusing their goldfish.
Commission member Philip Gerrie, who supported the ban, said the mass-breeding process of fish is "inhumane,” and that when they are taken from the wild, it contributes to the devastation of the tropical
fish population in places like Southeast Asia.