Goldfish as prizes banned


The new animal welfare laws we reported last week after they were leaked by The Sunday Telegraph have now been made official in a draft bill.

It will soon be illegal to give away goldfish as prizes at fairs, and children will no longer be able to purchase fish or other pets if they're under 16.

The new laws will also close a legal loophole in the animal welfare system through which the RSCPA needed to prove that animals must be suffering physically before legal action can commence.

The bill will introduce a "duty of care" which means that owners could be prosecuted if they keep animals in conditions which liable to lead to suffering.

RSPCA spokeswoman Becky Hawkes told the BBC: "Getting the duty of care offence on the statute books has been our primary objective for many years.

"It is the single most important piece of legislation affecting captive and domestic animals since the 1911 Protection of Animals Act. That is what this is updating and replacing, and what we use."

The moves will be welcomed by fishkeepers and the aquatic trade alike.