News Call To Ban Fairground Goldfish In Wales

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Call to ban fairground goldfish in Wales
1st October 2019

By Sandra Pearce

A pet shop worker has launched a petition calling on the Welsh Assembly to ban goldfish being given away as prizes at fairs.

In her petition, Holly Homer, from Barry, the Vale of Glamorgan, said: “Goldfish are still being given away as prizes at funfairs all over the country, they are complex creatures that can live up to 25+ years and grow 25-45cm.

“They are kept in poor conditions and given away to someone who won on an impulse and due to this, they usually only last a couple of months. This in an archaic tradition that through recent education we've realised is unethical.”

Some organisers of fairs in England have banned the practice. One of them is the Showmen’s Guild, the organisers behind Bridgwater Fair in Somerset, which banned the practice when a man was videoed and later found guilty of swallowing a goldfish that he’d won at Bridgwater Fair in September 2018.

Holly told the Barry & District News: “Although goldfish do not conjure up the same reaction as a puppy or kitten, they still feel pain and can communicate with each other.

“Goldfish can be purchased from reputable pet shops where necessary advice is handed out in order to give them the chance of a better quality of life then they would receive if handed out as a prize at any local funfair. Goldfish are not a prize to be won.”

Holly has set up the non-profit organisation Operation Goldfish to raise awareness and has attended a number of events as well as speaking on local and national radio and TV. She said she’s seen people come into the pet shop ‘swinging the fish around in a bag’ and asking to buy a tank.

“They’re never aware that the fish is going to grow huge, and they need a proper filtration system for it, medications. Then most of the time they end up buying the smallest tank possible because they didn’t know they would have to spend so much money for a pet they just won for £3.

“It’s just happening across the board. People see goldfish as just a fish but they are sentient beings as well.”

The petition, which runs until January 15, 2020, can be found at www.assembly.wales/en/gethome/e-petitions/Pages/signpetition.aspx and also at www.change.org/p/local-council-ban-goldfish-being-won-at-funfairs


Operation Goldfish had a stall set up at Cadstock outdoor music festival in August, and collected more than 200 signatures