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Pets as prizes

Gold medal, Gold trophy, Goldfish? A pet is not a prize or something to be won.

None of the fun at the fair

Fairs can evoke a sense of nostalgia for many, with fairground jingles, sugared doughnuts and arcade game prizes. Sadly, there's no fun at the fair for the animals given away as prizes. Receiving goldfish as prizes have become all too commonplace across England and Wales, but 86% of UK adults were shocked to discover that this still happens and 84% agree that local governments should step in to stop this.

Winning pets should be a thing of the past, but it isn't.

Unfortunately, we regularly receive calls relating to animals being given away as prizes, particularly goldfish - who are often prized off at fairgrounds across England and Wales. These goldfish are often held in unsuitable plastic bags for long durations and taken to homes that aren't adequately prepared to meet their welfare needs. We think you'll agree that while candy floss comes in bags, pets shouldn't.

Life in a bag

Goldfish in a plastic pag Goldfish are easily stressed and very often, fish that are won as prizes suffer miserably from shock, oxygen starvation or die from changes in water temperature, and many will die before their new owners can even get them home.

It's already illegal in Scotland

Currently in England and Wales, it's an offence to give animals away as a prize to anyone under the age of 16, unless accompanied by an adult. This differs from laws in other countries, for example Scotland, where it's an offence in almost all circumstances to give an animal away as a prize to anyone regardless of age.

Prevent pets as prizes

Since 2021, almost 80 local authorities across England and Wales have banned pets as prizes - but there's still so many more that need to join us.

By taking action, you'll be encouraging your local council to stop this practice on council-owned land, as well as write to their respective Government for wider change.

When it comes to pets as prizes, you win, they lose.

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