Letter to Senator: fish dyeing must stop!

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0morrokh

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Well we have a Civics assignment to write a letter to a legislator about the topic of a bill project we did and my topic was banning dyed fish...so of course I have to share my letter with you all. I am sending it to everyone the teacher gave us addresses for...state senator, state representative, governor, US senators, US representative ;D ;D I just have to modify the letter a little for each one. I am not gonna stop bugging the government until fish dyeing is banned and I hope you all will join me in sending letters to people ;D Feel free to copy whatever you want from my letter although we probably shouldn't be sending the exact same thing to the same person 20 times... :

I did not include anything about fish feeling pain because there is so much controversy, and I didn't want to bore everyone with long scientific explanations... ;D...but I think I have some pretty strong arguments anyway. So enough rambling, here's the letter. (oh and sorry it's so long, it'll probably crash the forum or somethin ;D : )



0morrokh
54321 Fishy Ave
Fish City, Fishieland 12345
(I wish ;D)


Sen. Chris Gerlach
Room 129 State Office Bldg.
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155

Dear Senator Gerlach,

I am writing due to the fact that fish receive little legal protection compared to many other animals. In this letter I will focus specifically on a process known as fish dyeing, painting or “juicing.” It is an inhumane and needless process and the sale of dyed fish must be banned.

Fish dyeing is a process by which live tropical fish are artificially colored. These more colorful fish are then offered for sale in pet stores. There are two main dyeing processes, known as injection and dipping.

In the process of injection, fish are removed from the water and injected multiple times along the body with liquid dye of various colors. This process is extremely stressful and causes many fatalities. The fish that are injected are often so small that experienced fish scientists would never inject them, even for medical purposes. And yet, it is as of now considered acceptable for these fish to be injected multiple times for not medical but aesthetic purposes.

Of the fish who go through the injection process, about 80% will die immediately simply because they are too small and delicate to survive the injections. The 20% that do survive are certainly not out of danger. The wounds caused by injecting never close up, and through these openings enter many disease causing pathogens. In one study, over 40% of Glassfish which were dyed had a rare disease known as Lymphocytis, while only 10% of the un-dyed fish had the disease. The problem is that the fish that go through the injection do not have the strength left to fight off the disease. Simply being removed from the water to be injected is very stressful for fish, and stress leaves fish more susceptible to disease. Then, the immune system perceives the dye as an “intruder,” and the fish spends all his energy on fighting off the dye, leading to further immune deficiency. The result is that a further 10% of the total fish dyed will die of diseases which were a direct or indirect result of the dyeing process.

Another common method of fish dyeing is dipping. In this process, the fish are first put into a solution which burns off their slime coat—the protective coating of mucous fish have over their scales which serves to help them swim more easily and helps to protect them from pathogens in the water. After the slime coat has been removed, the fish are put into a dye solution. Finally they are put into a solution which stimulates the re-growth of their slime coat.

The process of dipping is said to cause even more fatalities than injecting. Fish are extremely sensitive to chemicals and fluctuating water quality, let alone being completely removed from water and put into chemical solutions. They are also sensitive to being moved around out of water, which is done to them several times in a row during the dipping process. Due to the stress and the body’s reaction to the dye as an intruder, the fish suffers an extreme immune deficiency, as described above, leaving them very susceptible to disease. Also, the removal of the slime coat harms the fish even further, as the body must waste the energy the fish needs to recover to rebuild the slime coat, and until it is re-grown it takes the fish a lot more energy to swim because they can no longer slip through the water as well.

The dyeing process will kill most of the fish immediately or soon after due to disease, but the few fish who survive are not out of danger. Fish that are not fully grown are often stunted by the dyeing process, which leaves them at a competitive disadvantage in a tank with bigger fish. Also, most of the fish that are dyed will suffer a decreased lifespan, probably because of the enormous amount of stress these delicate fish are forced to endure.

There are some other methods of dyeing which some claim are humane, but they are certainly not because for any type of dyeing the fish must either be removed from the water or put into other chemicals, and this along with the presence of the dye in their body causes the fish an incredible amount of stress which leads to an immune deficiency, and then ultimately to disease and death.

Momentarily setting aside the rights of the fish, buying dyed fish is certainly not in the customer’s best interest. After going through such trauma to be brightly colored, the dyed fish will not stay colorful for long. According to one source nine out of ten dyed fish lose their coloration within only months. So, the customer is ultimately left with not just a regular-looking fish, but one that is unhealthy and will probably not live long. As a fishkeeper I know that fish medications can be extremely expensive, and it is not fair for the customer to have to purchase extra medications they would not have needed had they bought an un-dyed fish. Also, the fish will not live as long so the customer is forced to buy more fish than they would have needed to. So, the customer not only has an extra financial burden, but also may suffer emotional distress as many people become very attached to their fish, just like a dog or a cat or any other pet.

The only reason this practice continues, and people continue to purchase dyed fish, is not because this is an unimportant issue. It is because there are few people who are even aware of this problem. According to one source, 97% of people who buy dyed fish do not know they were dyed. However, the word is starting to spread. There are hundreds of concerned fishkeepers who refuse to buy dyed fish. Our hope is that the sale of dyed fish will be banned once and for all.

If you would consider proposing a bill to ban the sale of dyed fish, you would certainly have the support of myself as well as the people in dozens of online fishkeeping communities. Too long have fish been treated like objects which deserve no rights. It is only with the help of people such as you that we can have this process stopped.

I feel I should state one last thing: banning dyed fish is not going to hurt our economy or rob any citizens of jobs. I am not aware of any dyeing facilities in Minnesota. The majority are in Asia and Europe. The stores that sell dyed fish have simply to discontinue the sale of dyed fish and sell regular fish. And customers will be much more satisfied as they can have healthy and long living fish and enjoy their natural beauty.

Fish are not merely objects or decorations. They are intelligent creatures who deserve to be protected, just as much as any other pet. Certainly we would not allow dogs or cats to go through such horrible and inhumane processes simply for a little color, so why should fish have to endure this? Banning the sale of dyed fish in Minnesota is one step we can take to help protect fish and end this cruel process.

I thank you for your consideration, as do a growing number of very concerned citizens and thousands of fish that have suffered and died, all for a little color.

Sincerely,



0morrokh (no that's not what I put in the actual letter ;D)

P.S. I have enclosed a list of dyed fish and a few pictures of common dyed fish. Also, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding fish dyeing and I will do my best to answer them.
 

newbie101

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nice!
go 0morrokh!
 
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0morrokh

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;D



( wow I didn't realize how long that letter was )
 

atmmachine816

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0morrokh said:
;D



( wow I didn't realize how long that letter was )
LOL, I'll read it later after I catch up with posts when I don't have school LOL, looks good though.
 

Butterfly

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atmmachine816

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did you also have a list of links were you found some of these studies as that would help if you don't already.

p.s. I read it finally, very nice.
 

Tom

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You rock 0morrokh, doing something that all of us have been talking about and done nothing(If you personally have, I'm sorry, I don't know you personally). That is the way to stick it to the man. Hopefully it passes and spreads to Canada and other countries almost immediately because I have seen so many dyed fish in a couple of the petstores.
Tom
 
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0morrokh

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I'm still waiting to hear back from the senator...I wonder what he'll say...
 

atmmachine816

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Tom said:
You rock 0morrokh, doing something that all of us have been talking about and done nothing(If you personally have, I'm sorry, I don't know you personally). That is the way to stick it to the man. Hopefully it passes and spreads to Canada and other countries almost immediately because I have seen so many dyed fish in a couple of the petstores. 
Tom
That's what I think, I like how so many people say stuff but don't do anything. I'm working on geting to know the owners of my lfs's and see why they buy them and discuss it about them.

that will be interesting what he will say
 
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0morrokh

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I'd be curious to hear what they say. (atm) Fortunately none of my lfs's sell dyed fish. The only place near me that does is Walmart...and I figure they'd just laugh if I tried to "talk" to them about it. My dad (who's a lawyer) thought the best thing would be to try and get an article in the newspaper stating that the fish in Walmart are in bad conditions...you know, just stating facts about what you observed there, nothing you could get sued for . hehehehehe maybe I'll try it...
 

Tom

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I tried telling the people at a few of the pet stores I go to and they all laughed at me and said that I was full of s**t and I don't know whatI'm talking about. So, I told them to go to that site that has a list of different freshwater dyed fish and when I went back the next week they said they never saw that fish on there so they will just keep selling them. It really makes me mad. >
Tom
 

atmmachine816

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Wal-mart is one of the few stores that don't sell them by me, though they have a small selection to begin with. I asked a while ago and they said they dipped them and it didn't hurt them, though then I didn't know what to say. :-\
 

newbie101

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dipping does hurt them. first they dunk it in a chemical that takes off their slime coating, then they dunk it in the paint, then they put it in this stuff that is supposed to grow back the slime coat. I don't think the walmart people would like it if someone dipped them in a chemical that destroys the outer layer of skin, then submerged them in some kind of paint, then artificially "grew back" the skin.
Poor fish!!!!!
 

Peter243243

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Very long letter!!!

I have never seen a dyed fish in person. (lucky me ;D )
 

atmmachine816

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Yes I know emma, they just don't think that. Unfortunately I didn't get time to talk to them as my aunt couldn't take me due to car problems so my mom took me but we had a sears repair man so I only had 15 minutes and I used it picking out fish and a few supplies. In two weeks I'm going again and I'll talk to them and re write their conversation here.
 

katy68did

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I really liked the letter.As far as Walmart goes........I work for them.Some people do not know what I am about to tell you.Each Walmart manager has the right to set prices as they see fit.Also the type of fish they carry is up to the pet department manager,not the company as a whole.I am fortunate enough to work with our fish and we don't sell dyed fish.My dept. manager(in lawn & garden)is the former pet dept. manager and still works closely with the new manager to help him with the fish.My supervisor is a great person and loves all animals so she would not allow such a thing.It makes me proud to say that we don't sell the dyed fish and I've not seen any at the other 2 stores here that sell fish.
 

atmmachine816

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That's what I had thought katy68did since there are a few wal-marts that are great, I believe that's how a lot of petcos, petsmarts work etc. Still it doesn't hurt to try to ban dieing of fish.
 

Eskielvr

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Thanks for explaining the process so well. I had no idea!

I'm also a member of a dog forum. I sent some pictures of my tank to them and found out that there are some fish enthusiasts among us there as well. So I passed the info on. Hopefully this will help spread public knowledge of what's going on.

I thought about calling my fish store and asking if they sell dyed fish, but, if they do, then what? If they don't stop carrying them and I don't shop there anymore because of it, then that means I won't be able to get fish anymore.
 
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0morrokh

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Well I heard back from him, and here's his reply:


"Thank you for contacting me about the fish dyeing process. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this issue.

As you mentioned in your letter, it sounds like few people are awary of this issue, including myself. I would suggest that you contact local pet stores and shops, and provide them with information about the fish dyeing process. In addition, I would also recommend that you talk wiht your friends and family, and help to educate them about the hazards of purchasing dyed fish.

You bring up some excellent points in your letter. However, I am reluctant to jump into creating new laws when education and activism can change attitudes. I believe that the trend of purchasing dyed fish will diminish as people are educated about the dyeing process, and about the benefits of purchasing unaltered, healthier fish."


Well needless to say he is going to be hearing back from me!! hehehehehe But I can't do this alone! *******Paging all forum members who live in Minnesota!!!!!*******

Please write to Senator Gerlach. (His address is at the top of the letter in my first post...and if you would prefer, his email is: sen.chris.gerlach@senate.mn ) Tell him why fish dyeing is a horrible process (you can take whatever you want from my letter, just reword it), why it needs to be made illegal (as in, education can't solve the problem 100%), and be sure to mention that how he proceeds wiht this issue will affect how people vote in the next elections! ;D Oh and if you're not in Minnesota you better write a letter to your Senator or Rep or whatever, too!!!

We are not gonna stop bugging the government until this is illegal! (and I am not joking about that)

Btw, just holler if you need to know how to format a letter.



Eskielvr---isn't there any other place you could go to? Or is ordering online a possibility? But, don't worry about it unless you know for sure they sell dyed fish.
 

atmmachine816

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I'm in the same situation as Eskelvir, I have to buy from them as that's the only place I can get some supplies I need unfortunately. Though one store, once the guy orders my fish and responds about buying my fish I will ask him about selling dyed fish hehe.

Well I'm not in Minn. so can't help you though wish you luck. At least he gave you a nice response back, next letter you should say that you are doing that but you can't tell everybody.
 
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