News Local Council Bans Goldfish As Prizes

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Local council bans goldfish as prizes
22nd October 2019

By Sandra Pearce



A local council has voted unanimously to ban the giving away of goldfish as prizes on council land.

North Hertfordshire district councillor Carol Stanier brought about the motion, highlighting the number of cases reported to the RSPCA each year regarding fish being handed over at fairgrounds or through social media.

After the motion was passed, she told the Royston Crow: “I am delighted that councillors from all parties unanimously passed my motion on pets as prizes.

“Though we are only able to prevent the giving of pets as prizes on NHDC land, the motion also stated that we would lobby government to change the law.

“This topic has come to the forefront in several places recently, and I believe the time is right for the Animal Welfare Act to be revised to ban all live animal prizes, not just those to unaccompanied minors.”

LACK OF SCRUTINY
Meanwhile, UK trade body OATA said it has had a ‘fantastic response’ to its plea for people to say ‘no’ to goldfish at fairs, with its Facebook post being shared more than 350 times.

In April, the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association urged people to refuse to accept prize live fish at fairs, and called on local authorities to support its position that fish should not be given away in this way.

It also asked local authorities to check the terms of any licences issued to businesses to make sure they comply with animal welfare standards.

Dominic Whitmee, OATA chief executive, said: “OATA does not condone the use of live fish such as goldfish as prizes at places like fairs because it encourages people to take on pets on impulse, rather than researching and preparing for the fish’s arrival.

“We know that in the past winning fish in this way may have been an introduction to the great hobby of fishkeeping but the world moves on.

“We feel strongly that anyone offering fish to the public should at least meet the conditions applied by the local council to pet shops in that area, such as water quality criteria. We cannot see how these conditions can be achieved in a fairground situation so would urge local authorities to use what powers they have to stop this practice continuing in their area.”