Petco has announced that they will reduce the number of animals for sale in its stores nationwide by 30 percent.
The company said they are making space for more products as they are trying to tailor stores to local markets.
Petco spokesman Kevin Whalen said the decision was based on the results of a test that started in November 2007. He stated that Petco is taking customer needs into consideration and is aiming to keep animals in stores for a shorter period.
But People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said that Petco’s move is because of their investigation of Rainbow World Exotics (RWE) in Hamilton, Texas, one of Petco’s animal suppliers. An undercover PETA investigator recorded abuse and neglect of birds and other animals.
PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch made this statement: “PETCO is taking good steps that should send a ripple through the pet trade industry, but it is astounding that an abusive mill like RWE can still call the nation’s two largest pet supply companies its customers. The decisions by PETCO and PetSmart not to cut ties with RWE make it clear that to them, the bottom line is far more important than ensuring that tens of thousands of animals avoid pain and suffering. PETA wants consumers to know that animals do not generally fare well in the pet trade. Animal shelters and pounds are the place to go when you are ready to offer a loving, responsible home to an animal.”
Whalen responded, “While it will benefit animals, our decision to expand the test program to all of our stores is unrelated to our discussions with PETA.”