Walmart is getting out of the pet fish business.
In a conference call with its livestock suppliers earlier this year, the mass retailer reportedly announced that it would be pulling all pet fish and live aquatic plants from its stores. The move began in March and is expected to be completed by Oct. 1, 2019. However, the company is letting individual store managers decide whether or not to discontinue this section of their pet departments sooner.
It appears that many of the estimated 1,700 Walmart stores that carried pet fish had already removed their display tanks by the end of June, and some industry members expect the chain will have completely discontinued livestock sales by the end of July.
This will undoubtedly come as good news to the many animal welfare advocates and aquarium hobbyist who often accused Walmart of failing to provide proper care to the animals in their stores or provide customers with sufficient information to care for their new pets. However, it is decidedly bad news for many of the livestock suppliers who counted Walmart among their clients. In fact, some estimates say that the mass retailer was responsible for up to 30 percent of tropical fish sales. The loss of this outlet for aquatic livestock could obviously also have a significant negative impact on aquarium supplies manufacturers.