North Herts councillors vote unanimously to ban goldfish as prizes on council land
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North Herts district councillors have voted to ban the giving of goldfish as prizes on council land.
Councillor Carol Stanier brought about the motion, which was seconded by Councillor Ruth Brown - both represent Royston Heath at district level.
Councillor Stanier highlighted the number of cases reported to the RSPCA each year, regarding pets being handed over at fairgrounds or through social media.
The Liberal Democrat also said the fairground environment can be stressful for the fish, and they are then handed to people who may or may not know how to care for them.
After the motion was passed last night, she said: "I am delighted that councillors from all parties unanimously passed my motion on pets as prizes.
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"I would like to thank the RSPCA for their help in preparing this campaign and NHDC officers for their ready acceptance of this improvement to our ways of working.
"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.
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"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.
"Winning an animal at a fair or in a spontaneous competition does not allow prospective owners to make an informed decision about their longlasting commitment to the animal or their level of knowledge about its welfare requirements. As a nation of animal lovers, we owe it to our children - as well as to the animals - to ensure the relationship with our pets is a long and happy one on both sides.
"The campaign received some great coverage from Roberto Perrone on BBC Three Counties Radio and Helen Mulroy on BBC TV Look East, as well as the Crow and Comet's amazing poll.
"In the poll, 86 per cent of respondents said that they didn't believe goldfish should be given as prizes, and I believe that this result was key to the council's support of my motion."
The RSPCA had previously said were also opposed to the giving of live animals as prizes, that the prize animals suffer miserably as they do not have their welfare needs met, and they welcomed any move to stamp out this practice.