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Should Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach stop giving away goldfish as prizes?

PUBLISHED: 08:37 05 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:37 05 April 2018

A petition has been launched to stop goldfish being given away as prizes at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach. *This is not a picture of a goldfish from the pleasure beach*. Picture: Sonya Duncan

A petition has been launched to stop goldfish being given away as prizes at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach. *This is not a picture of a goldfish from the pleasure beach*. Picture: Sonya Duncan

A petition has been launched demanding that Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach stop using goldfish as prizes.

Picture: Steve AdamsPicture: Steve Adams

Fairgrounds and amusement parks have traditionally used the animal as a prize, however, it is becoming a less pervasive practice due to concerns about the welfare of the fish.

Emily Burrows, from Halvergate, launched the petition on Monday and the campaign has already garnered more than 750 signatures.

Miss Burrows, 20, says on her petition page: “The people who win these live animals often have no idea how to care for these fish. If we win, these poor goldfish will not be subject to such torturous and short lives.”

The Pleasure Beach stopped using goldfish as prizes for many years due to a lack of demand, but they returned around three years ago upon the request of a new tenant.

A petition has been launched to stop goldfish being given away as prizes at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach. *This is not a picture of a goldfish from the pleasure beach*. Picture: Colin FinchA petition has been launched to stop goldfish being given away as prizes at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach. *This is not a picture of a goldfish from the pleasure beach*. Picture: Colin Finch

Albert Jones, managing director of the Pleasure Beach, said they consulted with a pet store and developed a policy that ensured the welfare of fish.

He said: “We don’t just hand out goldfish willy-nilly - children have got to be with parents, the fish have bowls and food, it’s done professionally.

“We stopped doing it but then people kept asking where they could get them from, so they are back because of the public asking.

“But we don’t let people walk around with them in bags on a hot day, we take the welfare of the fish into consideration.

“If it became a major issue and we were advised that it’s not right what we’re doing then we’d stop it.”

It is not illegal give goldfish away as prizes unless the person is believed to be under 16 and is unaccompanied by an adult, but the RSPCA are opposed to the custom.

A spokesperson said: “Goldfish are easily stressed and suffer from shock, they may even die from changes in water temperature or oxygen starvation.

“Whatever conditions the prize-giver attempts to impose (if any) these are inadequate to secure the future well-being of an animal which comes to be owned by chance rather than as a result of a deliberate decision.”

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