End Grocery Chain’s Cruel Treatment of Fish


Target: Georges Plassat, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Carrefour SA supermarket chain

Goal: Require supermarket managers to store fish in adequately-sized tanks to prevent their severe overcrowding and death, and potential health risks for consumers

Fresh fish on sale at one of the world’s largest supermarket chains are kept in severely overcrowded conditions. Carrefour SA is one of the most prominent supermarket chains on Earth, earning the fourth-highest revenue after retailing giants like Walmart and Costco. A shocking story from one of its Romanian stores details animal rights violations demanding immediate action.

Patrons in Braşov, Romania have complained about the cruel conditions in which live fish are being stored. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reports that fish are “crammed into tanks so grotesquely crowded that they are deprived of oxygen and unable to move. Dead fish are often seen packed with the living.” Not only does this present an obvious health risk to humans, but the fish themselves are left to suffer and eventually die in a torturous, brutal manner.

Perhaps the lack of compassion stems from the fact that fish do not cry out when mistreated. Nonetheless fish suffer and feel pain similarly to land animals, including people. According to experiments conducted by biologist Victoria Braithwaite, fish tend to lose their appetites, quickly beat their gills and nurture injured areas when in pain. So why are fish being denied the same basic rights as cows in slaughterhouses?

Although Carrefour SA purports to oversee the food safety of its suppliers, the company clearly is not doing a sufficient job. With such immense popularity these retailers should handle food under the highest of standards. Hold the supermarket chain accountable for the barbaric ways it has treated animals in its care, and demand that its fish be housed in humane conditions.


Dear Mr. Plassat,

Carrefour SA is one of the largest supermarket companies in the world, but it has still failed to operate under acceptable standards. Animal rights organization PETA has received complaints from your patrons regarding the manner in which live fish are being stored. In a Braşov, Romania grocery store large numbers of fish are being kept in extremely crowded tanks. The fish eventually become oxygen deprived and immobile and experience slow, agonizing deaths. Dead fish have been observed in the same tanks as live ones being sold for food.

While this presents clear health risks to those who consume the fish, it is also a cruel violation of animal rights. Fish feel pain and suffer in ways similar to humans: rubbing injured areas, losing their appetite and showing signs of struggle. Though you claim to oversee food safety in your stores, these complaints suggest otherwise.

It’s understandable that you, as one man, cannot supervise each and every grocery store under your employ. However that does not alleviate responsibility for the matter at hand. I urge you to develop strict regulations for housing your live food. Please, remember that fish and other animals you sell are living creatures which can still feel pain.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mats Hagwall via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Cecily Colloby. says:

    No one should be eating fish in the first place so don’t care about danger to the health of the fish -eaters! But I DO care about cruelty to the fish….

  2. Sam Outhorn says:

    It’s been like that for years – and about time the abuse stopped!!!

  3. Sam Outhorn says:

    It’s been like that for years in those supermarkets – and about time it stopped!!!

  4. Stan Benton says:

    This is a tough one. I is highly unlikely that those who buy the fish are going to provide them with large, comfortable aquariums. Of course not; they are going to murder them then eat their rotting corpses. The poor fish might be better off if the store just killed them right away (as fishermen often do), and kept them refrigerated.
    Or how about this, boycott the stores that sell fish to eat?
    Better yet, boycott stores that sell any live or already murdered animals to eat?

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