The RSPCA has had an influx of calls reporting footage showing consumption of live goldfish as part of an online drinking game.
In the Neknominate game, which has been linked to two deaths, participants dare one another to film themselves 'necking' a drink, with each being egged on to perform increasingly extreme stunts.
The RSPCA says that in the last week there has been a spike in calls describing videos of people drinking a shot of alcohol with a fish inside.
The charity's wildlife scientist Nicola White said: "We are extremely concerned about this shocking new trend. We have had quite a few similar cases reported to us in a very short space of time — but this could be just the tip of the iceberg as there’s probably many more we have not been told about.
"Eating a live animal and posting of a film of it on the Internet is not some light-hearted joke — it is unacceptable. It sends out a clear message that animal cruelty is OK as long as it is in the guise of entertainment.
'We urge people not to take part in this horrible craze and to report to us anyone who is taking part."
Eating live fish is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act and the RSPCA says it is investigating several of the cases reported.
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