A petition has been launched against the use of live fish as prizes at a funfair in Greenwich.
Greenwich Wildlife Network (GWN), who launched the petition, say it is an “outdated practice which not only results in unnecessary suffering for the fish, but also promotes irresponsible pet ownership to children.”
A spokesperson for Greenwich Council said the sale or giving away of fish as prizes at funfairs was not allowed in the borough, but Rae Gellel of GWN said six fish recently won at a recent fair were found dumped at Greenwich Ecology Park, five of the dead.
The petition says: “The idea that it is wise to obtain animals on a whim, with no prior planning or research, isn’t something to impart to our kids.”
The petition has so far been signed by just under 500 people, and the group is hoping to reach more than 1,000 signatures.
The Greenwich Wildlife Network became aware of the issue locally after a volunteer spotted someone at a pub in Greenwich with two goldfish in a bucket on the table.
They are asking people to join them in urging Greenwich Council to ban the use of living animals as prizes in the borough.
Funfairs have plastic tanks on sale for those who ‘win’ goldfish, but these can fall drastically below the minimum suitable size, and the UK charity Fish Rescue and Welfare advises that fairground fish are often the variety suited to ponds, and not household aquariums at all.
The network also says that goldfish can also be left in buckets for hours after being won, as happened in the pub, which can cause the fish, just in a few inches of water, to suffocate in their own waste.
The petition states: “The above amounts to multiple failures on the part of the fairs to ensure even the most minimal standard of treatment for the fish that they are handing out. So how is this acceptable in this day and age?
“Whilst many people who win fish will do their very utmost to care for their new pet, this will not be true of all.
“Not being prepared for a new pet, and not having proper guidance or housing in place, sets up goldfish winners for failure, and ultimately, will lead to many fish suffering and dying.
“Is this really necessary, for a bit of fun? Are there not plenty of alternative prizes that can be given that are not living things?”
The practice has also been reported across the country, and the RSPCA have previously launched campaigns to ban using live animals as prizes.
Rae Gellel, founder of GWN, added: “Live animals are not objects. They are not prizes. And regardless of species, they all deserve a basic standard of care and not to be made to suffer unnecessarily, even fish.”
To read the petition, click here.