Redcar and Cleveland Council to ban use of goldfish as funfair prizes

Redcar and Cleveland Council has banned the use of goldfish as prizes at funfairs and events on its land. Credit: Pixabay

A council has agreed to ban awarding live goldfish as prizes at fairs and events on its land.

Redcar and Cleveland's councillors agreed the motion unanimously.

It was prompted by the RSPCA’s #NoFunAtTheFair campaign which launched in June this year, which has been backed by several local authorities across the UK.

The motion by Skelton East Conservative councillor Justin Thomspon called for the swift introduction of a policy to explicitly ban the use of live animals as prizes and to establish rigorous monitoring and enforcement measures.

Cllr Thompson said the aim was to send a “clear message that commodification of live beings is not acceptable in Redcar and Cleveland”.

Speaking before the motion, he said: “For the most part, it means putting a stop to goldfish handed out in plastic bags which will probably die within a day or two of being brought home.

“This is about the responsible treatment of all living beings.”

The motion was passed with an agreed amendment that the council should write to the Government to urgently implement relevant legislation, including an outright ban on the giving of live animals as prizes on both public and private land.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 made it an offence for anyone believed to be under 16 and not accompanied by an adult to be given an animal as a prize, but supporters want the Government to go further.

Councillor Steve Kay said animals were frequently exploited as pets and underwent suffering.

He said: “We are decimating the wildlife out there with various practices and we need to respect animals more and try to live with them in the hope and expectation that someday we might be treated kindly.”

Council leader Alec Brown said: “This is cross-party and I agree we need to go further.”

A spokesperson from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it was an offence to cause an animal any unnecessary suffering with councils having powers to investigate such matters.

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