Channel 4 has reportedly removed a story from the Big Brother website which made fun of the death of one of the goldfish that housemates have been given as pets.
The story, titled "The goldfish has gone to a better plaice", flippantly mocked the death of the fish:
"We're accustomed to housemates making a bid for freedom but most of time they manage to make it out of the door. But one member of the Big Brother House has swam off for good. It's our first casualty of the series - one of the goldfish has left the building. But at least it didn't get flushed down the loo.
"Big Brother comforted Rachel and instructed her to bring the other fish to the Diary Room too. Hopefully it wasn't off to join it's sole-mate, just yet... For the record, no fish were harmed in the making of this story."
However, the article was removed from the Big Brother website shortly afterwards.
Three goldfish were given to the housemates in a small, unfiltered bowl during Friday evening's show, creating a stir with fishkeepers.
ComplaintsMany viewers have complained to Channel 4, OFCOM and the RSPCA, as well as voiced their concern on the Practical Fishkeeping forums and on a dedicated Facebook group. (See Uproar at Big Brother goldfish bowl, News, Wednesday August 13, 2008).
Channel 4 told complainants that it had followed the care advice it had been given by the shop that supplied the fish and that "all necessary instruction had been passed on to ensure the health and continued well-being of the goldfish."
Practical Fishkeeping explained to Channel 4 that the advice it had been offered was incorrect and provided information on the proper care of the fish, as well as offering to assist in sourcing a suitable home for the fish.
Channel 4 confirmed that the information had been passed on, but the surviving fish remain in the bowl.
For information regarding the proper care of goldfish please see our Frequently asked questions on goldfish.