PETA Investigation Reveals Widespread Neglect on Thai Fish Farms

For Immediate Release:
10 December 2019 

Bangkok – In a new PETA investigation of 10 facilities in Thailand that supply betta fish – also known as Siamese fighting fish (a vibrant fish native to Asia) – to pet shops around the world, bettas were found gasping for air on waterless trays as workers roughly sorted them for shipping, and some, who had likely suffocated to death, were seen rotting on the floor. Thousands of bottles containing individually isolated fish were packed together tightly, covering entire warehouse floors.

Dead fish were found at every location, and the bodies of the deceased were left to decompose among live bettas. Footage from one facility reveals that bettas were packed without food and left to starve for days during international transport, and a worker told the eyewitness that they add tranquiliser to the water to keep the fish from eating their own tails during the arduous journey – both of which are common practices in the industry. Those with tails that were considered imperfect were deemed unprofitable and dumped into a nearby canal or pond to fend for themselves.

“PETA is calling on caring people to stop fuelling this horrific trade by never buying bettas or any other fish,” says PETA Senior Vice President of International Campaigns Jason Baker. “Betta fish are suffering from the minute they’re born on massive breeding farms to the minute they die, all for the pet industry.”

The facilities visited by PETA eyewitnesses export bettas to Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the US.

Broadcast-quality video footage and photos from PETA’s investigation are available upon request.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence towards other animals. For more information, please visit