To UK based on-line supporters of Animal Concern, ACAL and SOSF
Please find below an e–mail I sent to all Scottish MPs a few minutes ago. If you live in Scotland please e–mail your MP asking if s/he is going to do anything to try and have the giving of animals as prizes made illegal in England and Wales.
If you live in England or Wales please send a copy of my e–mail below to your MP and ask them if they would help to bring the law in England and Wales into line with Scots Law on this issue.
Dear Member of Parliament for Scotland,
A journalist recently asked me to comment on a case where a drunken yob swallowed a goldfish he had just won at a fairground in Devon. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-47666629
I was instrumental in having the giving of goldfish and all other live animals as prizes made illegal in Scotland under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. I had hoped it would be fairly straightforward to have a similar ban introduced in England and Wales and I asked Michael Gove to amend animal welfare legislation to bring about a ban south of the border.
I received a reply a few days ago and it states: “There are currently no proposals to prohibit the giving away of animals as prizes.”.
This is very disappointing as such a ban would stop many thousands of goldfish being flushed down the loos of England and Wales over the coming summer months of fetes and fayres where goldfish are given as prizes only to die within a few hours or days. Apart from the cruelty involved it also teaches children that living animals have little or no value.
I hope some of your constituents will contact you about this over the next few days. I would be grateful if you would consider raising this matter with the Minister with the request that England and Wales follow the excellent lead set by Scotland 13 years ago. It is long overdue for goldfish and other animals to be granted the same protection in England and Wales as they have in Scotland.
John F. Robins,
Animal Concern Advice Line