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Caerphilly Council praised for banning pets as prizes

The RSPCA has praised Caerphilly Council for taking a positive stance against the mistreatment of animals.

Caerphilly County Borough Council introduced a ban on pets as prizes back in 2019 and the first to make such a public stance on the issue.

The support of full Council followed unanimous support from the Council’s Environment and Sustainability Scrutiny Committee, at which RSPCA Cymru gave evidence alongside Cllr Jamie Pritchard.

RSPCA Cymru called it “great news for animal welfare, particularly goldfish”.

Giving animals as prizes can be detrimental to the animals’ welfare. Many will die before getting back to their new homes, or shortly after; and winning an animal via a game actively encourages owners to take on pets in a spontaneous, ill-planned manner.

Goldfish can easily become stressed, and fish that are won as prizes often suffer miserably from shock, oxygen starvation and changes to water temperature due to their unsuitable environment.

It is now illegal to give pets as prizes on land controlled by the local authority. This followed reports of goldfish being given as prizes in the local area.

The RSPCA is running a campaign to have the practice banned called #NoFunAtTheFair as they fear the summer will see more goldfish given as prizes as fairs.

RSPCA Cymru’s public affairs manager, Chris O’Brien, said, “With Covid restrictions now completely eased in Wales, there’s a real risk that the giving of goldfish as prizes will return in big numbers as funfairs and festivals resume.

“We’re delighted that nearly a quarter of local authorities in Wales have banned the practice on their land already – but RSPCA Cymru will keep campaigning until this practice is consigned to the history books.”

Cllr Jamie Pritchard, Deputy Leader of Caerphilly Council commented, “Giving animals away as prizes is completely inappropriate and, as a council, we support the RSPCA’s stance that this practice should be stopped.

“Caerphilly Council have not allowed any event that offers animals as prizes to take place on council land since 2019. As a local authority, we take animal welfare very seriously and with restrictions having eased and the summer months upon us, we would encourage residents to not associate with any fairs or entertainment that offer animals as prizes.”