The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) is delighted to announce that Pick n Pay, Game and Makro have advised that they will cease to stock and sell the Homemark product, Magic Fish, with immediate effect. The NSPCA approached the retailers directly after Homemark broke faith by continuing to supply and sell the products despite the undertaking of Dino Hadjipaschalis, the Executive Chairman of Homemark, that promotion and sales of the item would cease at the end of 2012.
Suzanne Ackerman-Berman representing Pick n Pay stated that, “I would like to thank you most sincerely for bringing to our attention the issue regarding the “Magic Fish” product. We have researched the details of the product and fully agree that it constitutes a breach of animal rights and agree to withdraw the product with immediate effect. We will fully support any PR initiative you would like to formulate regarding this product and removal thereof. Thank you for all you do in protecting the animals of our nation.”
Representing Game stores, Shelton Timm responded to the NSPCA by stating, “Thank you for making us aware of this matter. Game has taken the necessary action by issuing a product recall for this item. Our Game stores will receive immediate communication to remove the Magic Fish from sale before COB today. The supplier (Homemark) has received an instruction to uplift all stock from our stores within the next 2 weeks…”
Makro General Merchandise Director, Derick Kalan stated, “I have taken the decision immediately to discontinue this product from sale.”
The National Council of SPCAs undertook investigations into the Magic Fish products as promoted and sold by Homemark in early 2012. Consumer complaints were received that the creatures which hatched, died soon after. The NSPCA was of the firm opinion that these imported “kits” were without adequate information/instructions to ensure the welfare and care of the hatchlings. This product further promotes the keeping of fish in small bowls, which in our view is cruel due to the lack of environmental control of the bowls and an insufficient amount of water with no circulation causes distress, disease and ultimately the fish has to survive in their own secretions. Added to this was the disappointment of children – to whom the marketing was aimed. After the excitement of seeing real fish hatch, there was the trauma of their death.
It is high time that living creatures stopped being exploited in the name of novelty or profit. All living creatures matter and the NSPCA will not cease our tireless work to protect any living creature from any kind of exploitation.