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Animal Concern Advice Line News

Giving Animals as Prizes

Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP.
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,

Dear Minister,

I write concerning the giving of animals as prizes in England and Wales.

Recently I was contacted by a journalist concerning yet another case of a drunken reveller swallowing a live goldfish. Full details are on the link below.

This time the fish had been won as a prize at a fairground. Every year thousands of goldfish are given away as prizes at fairgrounds. Many die before the winner gets them home and most are dead and flushed down the toilet within a week or two.

Thanks to a meeting I had with the civil servant in charge of drafting the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 I was able to get the giving of goldfish and all other animals as prizes made illegal in Scotland. In England and Wales it is only illegal to give them to people under 16 years of age if they do not have parental consent (just as a pet shop cannot sell animals to under 16s without parental consent).

It would eliminate a lot of cruelty and suffering to goldfish and other animals if the law in England and Wales could be amended to match that in Scotland.

Can you tell me if you are willing to amend legislation to eliminate the giving of animals as prizes in England and Wales?

Yours sincerely,

John F. Robins,
Secretary to ACAL