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Riverfront Aquariums Finale

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Paying special attention to avoiding polemical or polarizing comments, what do you think of the decision handed down to Wayne (Riverfront) yesterday?

I'd like to know your opinion on it.

 

Thanks - Andrew 

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I think it's a good lesson on biting off more than you can chew...

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Can you explain what was the decision was

?

 

Don't bother, I just read the Herald article. I can only speak for the fish side of things, and I thought that the fish were adequately cared for.

Edited by syno321

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For this specific case, it depends on how "outrageous" the situation was.

The article I read states "The evidence of the veterinarians who testified as expert witnesses ... established exactly what the Crown says and that is a set of horrific conditions in this pet store,"

But what does that mean, against what set of criteria was this judged. I can think of reputable fish stores in town and find the conditions of the fish depressing: much too big or many fish in a small tank, large numbers of sick/dead fish, betta in marmalade jars, IMHO horrible examples of "breeding gone wild" deformed-to-the-point-of-suffering fish, stressed fish in bright tanks with no hiding spots purple gravel and a toy castle blowing air bubbles, etc. If I had walked into Riverfront would I have been similarly depressed or would I have been so appalled that I would on the spot decide to never give the store any business (or call animal welfare).

So in the more general case, is the fish trade itself in need of a more humane set of guidelines? If so what is reasonable and who decides? In addition, aquarium owners also play a role. In contrast to the judge's opinion, I don't think it is fair to expect the LFS to "... set an example for the public to treat animals in the best manner possible ...". I would hope that in most cases the aquarium at home provides more reasonable stocking levels, hiding spots in the form of rocks, driftwood and plants, and more TLC than can be provided in a store. But is that actually the case or do many consider fish as disposables. Better care will also increase operating cost and thus cost to consumers. I personally prefer to pay more for healthier and happier life stock but in practise that approach may fail to keep a business afloat.

I think this judgment brings up a lot of questions and I wonder whether the LFS will consider this as the proverbial bad apple or if it has broader implications.

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2 hours ago, jvision said:

I think it's a good lesson on biting off more than you can chew...

Just to build on my comment, I think they did a good job with their fish. All complaints were against their other animals, and my thinking is that branching out to other exotics was just too much to handle for Riverfront

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I saw the news on CFCN the day of the court appearance and all they mentioned was the amount of the fine ($20000) for Wayne and $4000 for the owner. These were the maximums and had never been handed out prior to this case.There was no mention of abuse against the fish it was all to do with all the other 300 pets for sale in the store. Pet stores will only decorate display tanks and the balance are streamlined for quick access and sale - no plants, rocks, wood, etc. as these are just nuisances in trying to net the fish. I have been in this hobby for 57 years and what most people don't understand is that to the pet stores fish are just a commodity to be bought and sold for a profit. They are not something like a dog or a cat or a reptile that is treated more humanely and for the most part much better cared for. They only become pets when they are purchased and taken to a caring home. More times than I care to remember I have been in stores where fish are literally dumped out of the bags into a tank and within 10 minutes someone is on their way home with their new fish. Stores want the highest possible turnovers not only because that is more profitable but they want to unload their commodities before they start to get sick and die. Better stores will at least quarantine their fish for a week or more even though this cuts down the profit temporarily.

What I'm getting at here is that in this regard Riverfront was no different than any other fish store in town or anywhere else. The fish were just a victim of circumstance when Riverfront was shut down as a result of what the Humane Society and others thought was animal abuse of all the other pets in the store. 

 

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Thanks for the insight Harold. I guess its my turn. One thing that I think needs to be mentioned is that Riverfront had multiple serious infractions previous to the big 300 animal one. Wayne was given the riot act and fined multiple times before this, and he knew that the justice for animals vigilantes were hot on his case. Knowing all this I wonder why he did not either comply with the demands of the authorities, or stop the sale of the problematic animals? I agree with the popular sentiment about the fish side of their operation, they (in my opinion) did a good job with them, and their fish keeping practices were no different from any other store. I think most of Wayne’s practices were overt, and not covert like most other places which in the eyes of the justice for animals vigilantes is unacceptable. For example I went there one day and I saw a garbage bin full of hatchet fish flopping around, and the dude said “they are hopeless”. I was shocked at how overt that was, and that they would not euthanize them somewhere or someway else.

Riverfront and their 2 for 1 sales were my primary source for fish when I entered the hobby a few years ago, and I had many helpful conversations with Wayne and his wife helping me out as a noob. Today I still appreciate their contribution to the beautiful aquarium systems I have to this day, but I also agree that the stores that sell fish, and are perceived by our community as “experts” need to be held to a higher standard, which, moving forward, might need to shift a little bit one way in the profit-husbandry continuum.

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