A fair has banned goldfish from being offered as prizes after a Devon man was filmed gulping one down with a beer.
The man was filmed swallowing a goldfish that had been won at the 770-year-old annual Bridgwater Fair in September 2018.
Organisers the Showmen’s Guild said goldfish will no longer be offered as prizes at fairs in Bridgwater, the Somerset Live reports.
A spokesman said: “Due to the incident reported by the RSPCA last year, bad press and emotive issues this is causing, the western section committee of the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain agreed to suspend the giving of live animals as prizes at Bridgwater Fair 2019.”
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA welcomed the ban and said goldfish offered as prizes often ‘suffer miserably’ and are ‘easily stressed’.
She said: “The RSPCA is opposed to the giving of live animals as prizes and would say to people who sees this at other events – don’t be tempted.
“Animal ownership is a big responsibility that needs to be planned and well thought out – not a spur of the moment thing that happens just because someone has won a prize.
“Games offering animals as prizes don’t take this into consideration. Very often the prize animals suffer miserably, as the busy fairground, show or even country fete is just too much for them.
“They may suffer from shock, oxygen starvation or even die from changes in water temperature. Many fairground fish die before their new owners can get them home or soon afterwards.
“Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, it is an offence to enter into an arrangement with a person reasonably believed to be under 16, who is not accompanied by an adult, whereby an animal is to be won as a prize.
“We’d encourage anyone with concerns to help to stop this by contacting your local authority or the event organiser and ask them to adopt a policy of not allowing animals to be given as prizes at any fundraising activities held in their buildings or on their land.”
Dating back to 1249, the four-day Bridgwater Fair attracts more than 40,000 visitors each year, making it the largest travelling funfair in the South West.