Westfield Mall removes fish tank vending machine amid PETA request

The Westfield Mall has removed a vending machine that feeds fish after animal activist group PETA complained that the machine was harmful to the fish.

According to PETA the “Feed the Fish and Make a Wish” vending machine, which allows visitors to pay to dispense food to the fish, was harmful because there was no way to determine whether, and how much, the fish were being fed.

When fish are overfed or underfed, it can turn deadly quick, the group says.

“Scientists have shown that fish become depressed from a lack of space, stimulation, and adequate enrichment, just as humans do,” said PETA’s Executive Vice President, Tracy Reiman. “More than 620 shopping malls nationwide now prohibit or restrict animal exhibits, and PETA is thanking Westfield for an on-trend decision that will spare fish needless suffering.”

PETA thanked the mall for removing the machine by sending staff a box of fish-shaped chocolates.

Samantha Putterman: 941-745-7027, @samputterman