Ban the sale of live tropical fish taken from the wild as pets in Illinois

Ban the sale of live tropical fish taken from the wild as pets in Illinois

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Aryana Swanson started this petition to Mayor Thomas Hayes and

Ever walk through the pet store and take a look in the fish tanks? Ever see dead fish floating upside down in those tanks? I know I have, too many times. 

To define “tropical fish,” they are those fish found in aquatic tropical environments around the world, including both freshwater and saltwater species, which are often kept in freshwater and saltwater aquariums. Some examples of tropical fish include pufferfish, betta fish, seahorses, triggerfish, etc. 

Many tropical fish are facing extinction or diminished populations in the wild due to the pet trade and fishing.

According to the World Animal Foundation, pufferfish are one of the many victims of the pet trade. Captured from their native habitat and transported to the United States to be sold as aquarium "ornamentals.” The dangers, difficulties, physical and physiological needs of the animals appears to be of no concern in the lucrative pet trade. Removed from their natural habitat, they are deprived of the ability to freely engage in instinctual behaviors. Even under the best of circumstances, captivity is cruel for fish. Confined to tiny tanks, captive fish endure constant stress and boredom. With little room to exercise, they become listless, their immune systems are weakened, and they become prone to sickness; many resort to self-mutilation in reaction to stress or boredom. Torn from their families and deprived of all dignity, mental illness is rampant among confined animals.

The truth is that exotic fish like pufferfish are extremely tough to take care of because there is so much that we do not know about them. For example, we do not know how to breed many of the tropical fish species in captivity. If we cannot breed them and their populations are diminishing, we need to do all that we can to protect them from extinction.

Illinois already has a ban on many exotic animals as pets such as primates, so I propose that we extend that ban in Arlington Heights to cease sales of tropical fish because it is clear that they are suffering as pets, and could even become extinct if we don’t act soon.

Arlington Heights, IL is my hometown and I have lived here my whole life. I would love to see a measure like this passed because it will make our village a more humane place to live.

Here is a video I recommend watching that really opens the eyes to how sophisticated fish are: https://youtu.be/B-mzvFxfFCQ

And good articles to take a look at: 

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/tropical-pet-fish-industry-endangering-fish-and-coral/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2017/10/16/science/depressed-fish.amp.html

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