Rugby councillors ban the giving of live animals as prizes on council land

One councillor said: "While candyfloss comes in bags, pets should not"

File image, Getty Images.
File image, Getty Images.

Councillors have slapped an outright ban on live animals being given as prizes at events taking place on Rugby Borough Council land.

And the council is to write to the Government urging MPs to bring England in line with Scotland where live animals are banned as prizes on both public and private land.

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The call came from Cllr Carolyn Watson-Merret (Con, Admirals and Cawston) when she put forward the notice of motion at this week’s [THU] full council meeting held at Benn Hall.

It read: “This council is concerned about the number of cases reported to the RSPCA each year, regarding pets given as prizes via fairgrounds, social media and other channels in England and notes the issue predominantly concerns goldfish.”

It added that the council was concerned for the welfare of those animals and recognised that many cases may go unreported each year.”

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Watson-Merret quoted from the RSPCA website: “Goldfish and koi carp are the animals most commonly associated with prize-giving and since 2015 there have been 144 calls about goldfish and other aquatic animals being given as prizes.”

She said many of them died before reaching their new home and added: “Most of these fish are held in unsuitable plastic bags for long durations and taken to homes that are inadequately prepared to meet the welfare needs. I think you’ll agree that while candyfloss comes in bags, pets should not.”

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the motion.