Disgusted that fish were prizes at Worksop Christmas light switch-on

Is winning a fish at the fair a harmless prize or an act of animal cruelty?
Is winning a fish at the fair a harmless prize or an act of animal cruelty?

After seeing her friend had won a fish a the fair one Worksop woman thinks it is wrong to give away animals as prizes in the 21st Century.

Charlotte Mason, 28, from Clowne, was left shocked after her friend posted a picture on social media of a goldfish at the Worksop Christmas light switch on Saturday, November 21.

She said: “In this day and age it is so wrong to be giving away live animals to people as prizes.

“If people could win a puppy or a horse there would be uproar but because it is a fish people don’t seem to mind.”

Under the 2006 Animal Welfare Act, children are allowed to take fish away as prizes, provided they are accompanied by someone over the age of 16.

“When you buy a fish from a proper pet shop you have to buy the tank first and wait three days then go back and get your fish, people take that seriously but how can you regulate the health ans safety like this at fair?”

Nation animal protection charity the RSPCA said that while it is not illegal, stress, changes to water temperature and oxygen starvation can cause many of the fish to die before their new owners get them home.

Charlotte added: “I am really disgusted that an event organised by the council can let something like this go ahead.”

Beverley Alderton-Sambrook, interim head of regeneration at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “The Council does not condone the awarding of prizes such as ‘goldfish’, nor did any of our staff see prizes of this nature being given away on the night. The Council currently has a verbal agreement with traders not to issue prizes such as ‘goldfish’ and will reaffirm this agreement with all traders.

“The Christmas Lights event was an extremely popular and well received event and we do not intend to revise any of the current arrangements we have in place with regular or temporary traders.”