Pier Turns Its Back On Goldfish As Prizes

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Pier turns its back on goldfish as prizes
2nd October 2018

By Sandra Pearce

A major tourist attraction in Essex has said it will stop giving away goldfish as prizes.

Bosses at Clacton Pier have decided to end the practice after a protest by animal rights group Essex Animal Defenders was set to take place at the seaside attraction on August 10, reports the Essex Live.

Essex Animal Defenders wrote on its Facebook page: “Given the reassurance from the Clacton Pier owners that the practice of giving away goldfish will not continue after the end of this season we have decided to cancel tomorrow’s protest.

“However if we find they have reneged on their promise we will not give them another chance next season and will make them a target for ongoing protests and campaigning. Thank you to everyone for supporting this cause!!”

Billy Ball, managing director at Clacton Pier, said: “We have always accepted that there are two sides to this issue; some are strongly against goldfish being given out as prizes, and we appreciate that, while others are keen for it to continue – as evidenced by the numbers using the stall.

“Our position was that it is not illegal, and the stall was checked out by the RSPCA and given a clean bill of health in terms of how they looked after the fish. There are strict laws in place that have to be followed and it has been going on from fairgrounds for many, many years.

“However, we are not in the business of upsetting people and needed to make a decision. On balance we have decided that this practice will not take place next season.

“We are currently in a legally binding contract with the tenant, but this is due for renewal at the end of the season and we will make the change for 2019. That means there will be no goldfish handed out by mid-September.”

He added that the stall holder, who has been operating for more than 40 years, is ‘very responsible’ and sources the goldfish from a specialist pet shop supplier.