Concerns raised at goldfish prizes

The RSPCA at Fleetwood has raised concerns over the sale of goldfish in plastic bags.
The RSPCA at Fleetwood has raised concerns over the sale of goldfish in plastic bags.

An RSPCA official at Fleetwood has raised concerns after goldfish were handed out as prizes during the recent Tram Sunday event.

The fish, in small bags of water, were given to children by fairground operators who were in town for the big transport festival.

Liz Rawson, the Fleetwood-based Fylde branch manager of the RSPCA, says there are a number of worries over the practice.

And she is supporting calls for a Government ban and also urging parents to be more responsible and think seriously about the needs and care of the fish before they let their children take them home.

She said: “Giving out goldfish in little bags of water is a long-established practice at funfairs but it is something the RSPCA does not encourage.

“Goldfish need proper care and attention and when people buy them from pet shops, at least they are made aware of the requirements of the fish before they take them home, including the correct food and proper tanks.

“But handing them out in little plastic bags without any proper information on how to care for them is not good practice at all.

“If it is a hot day, the water temperature in the bag will rise and it’s a bit like a boil in the bag rice scenario.”

Two years ago Blackburn schoolgirl Emily Hirst, then 13, gained support from several MPs after starting a petition to get the Government to ban the practice.

And Ms Rawson added: “I plan to contact our Fleetwood MP, Cat Smith, to see if she would support such a ban.

“Selling pets as funfair prizes is very out of date and not good practice.

“It’s time it should be stopped.”