Most pet shops are under a franchise agreement. It is not financially viable to go it alone; however with the franchiser getting kickbacks from suppliers it is reasonable to beleive that the size of the kickback is more important than the stock quality.
If you look at the Aguarium Fish industry alone, you will see that there is about 20 million "gold fish"( I Use this term to describe the non exotic fish sold,) Give that the average price is around $4 to $5 per fish, it amounts to a large turnover figure.
There is situation in my home town, Coffs Harbour, and I am sure in many other towns, that the franchiser is located out of NSW
and thus draws stock from out of NSW
With pet shops within NSW
with the franchise restriction put on them, they are forced to take what they get. The Pet shops then have to face the brunt of fish dying, or even infecting other fish in the home tank.
It is known that some fish from Queensland are infected with the herpes desease that fish get, and including these, apparently, healthy looking fish into your home tank or pond can result in the death of all your fish.
Coffs Harbour has a well established Hatchery. It has been in business for 45 years as far as I know, it exports overseas, and it guarantees the health of its aquarium fish, and yet, the local fish shops, that are a franchise, cannot aquire fish from this source, and are obliged to pay high frieght, high insurance for poor quality fish from out of state to accomodate the kickback to the franchiser.
I have put this to one franchiser and they have not replied, so one can only assume that they know what is going on, but do not want to defend the claims I make.
This is serious, and we are responsible for stopping the endemic spread of fish desease, which may very well get into ocean stock if it is not arrested.