San Francisco Considers Ban On the Sale of All Pets Except Fish

The San Francisco Commission on Animal Control and Welfare has created quite a stir by considering a proposal that would outlaw the sale of all pets in the city.

Here's how the S.F. Chronicle reported it earlier in the month. The ban would include;

...dogs, cats, hamsters, mice, rats, chinchillas, guineapigs, birds, snakes, lizards and nearly every other critter, or, as the commission calls them, companion animals.

"People buy small animals all the time as an impulse buy, don't know what they're getting into, and the animals end up at the shelter and often are euthanized," said commission Chairwoman Sally Stephens. "That's what we'd like to stop."

San Francisco residents who want a pet would have to go to another city, adopt one from a shelter or rescue group, or find one through the classifieds.

They were supposed to vote on the proposal on July 8, the day the Chronicle reported the story, but they were so overwhelmed with input, they postponed the vote until at least next month. Go here for a more recent AP rundown.

This grabs me as another sign that our human relationship to animals has gotten out of whack. On the one hand we turn a blind eye to the terrible conditions faced by millions of industrial farm animals (9 million chickens are slaughtered every year) and yet we fret over humanely euthanizing gerbils and hamsters.

I recognize that the folks advocating for this are also ones who would advocate for more humane treatment of farm animals, but it just grabs me as strange.