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to think Goldfish prizes at Fun Fairs should be banned?

(26 Posts)
SnotandBothered Tue 18-Nov-14 11:51:26

How on earth is it still ok to give a live animal in a plastic bag away as a prize? And what kind of existence do the fish have between fairs (at which point they are hung from a hook in a bag)?

I am not a huge animal rights activist and short of being kind to animals, signing the odd petition and not wearing fur, I just plod along accepting that things happen. But this just seems so wrong.

Just over 3 years ago DC came back from a fair with a goldfish each. They were thoroughly over excited at the idea of new and unexpected 'pets' and DH had bought the obligatory crap plastic bowl that they sell you when you win (he said it was practically impossible to lose). The following day and I went and bought a half decent tank, pump and a few other 'goldfish essentials' and the buggers are still going strong.

BUT how many people do that? What if you can't afford to do that? And what happens to the ones that don't get won? The DC have completely lost interest in them and DH and I clean the tank out whatnot but I would never have chosen to have them.

People are amazed when I tell them that 2 fish from a fair are still here 3 years later, as they it's ok that they don't last long as they are just 'fair fish'. No other 'pet' would be given such a damning start to life.

Or am I over reacting? (caveat a bit tired and emotional today!)

youareallbonkers Tue 18-Nov-14 11:55:01

I thought it had been banned? Although I don't know why everything has to be banned, if you disagree with something just don't support it and it will die out

SoftSheen Tue 18-Nov-14 11:58:15


People would be up in arms if prizes were something cute and fluffy e.g. a hamster when actually a goldfish is arguably harder to look after properly.

In any case, leaving an animal hanging up in a plastic bag for hours on end is pretty inhumane.

susiedaisy Tue 18-Nov-14 11:59:12


26Point2Miles Tue 18-Nov-14 12:00:27

'banned'by whom though??

rebelfor Tue 18-Nov-14 12:04:16


My partner is under strict instruction not to let our daughter win one when he takes her to the annual summer fair, and every year she comes back with one.

One did last a couple of years, but the others have died within days. I think it's cruel.

WillWorkForMoney Tue 18-Nov-14 12:41:10

I love fish, have a big tropical tank. When we went to the fair in the summer dc wanted to play hook a duck and although it was the game next to it giving the fish in a bag away, I refused to allow her to play on principal and make sure I told her why as loud as possible while walking past. Its just not necessary is it? There are thousands of other products that can be bought for less than they charge for a game (£2.50!!)

superbagpuss Tue 18-Nov-14 12:43:58

I think its plain wrong and my children are not allowed to play the games that have fish as prizes

outtahell Tue 18-Nov-14 12:51:56

YANBU. The common/comet ones they use as prizes can get massive and live for years and years and need a big tank or a pond to be happy and healthy.

SisterMoonshine Tue 18-Nov-14 13:32:03

I haven't seen them at fairs round here for years and years, so assumed they'd been banned.
I remember winning some in the 70s and being told that they wouldn't live long. They lived for years.

SnotandBothered Tue 18-Nov-14 13:36:28

26 - banned by law.

One of our Fair Fish is now pretty big and we will have to buy a bigger tank soon. Can't really afford it but don't feel I have a choice

Poor fish it's just plain wrong confused

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 18-Nov-14 13:38:17


It's cruel and beyond belief. Fish aren't the easy low maintenance people think.

Handing out tiny bowls and being plonked straight in tap water is potentially fatal.

They need big tanks and pumps and filters etc not provided or possible to set up.before the oxygen in the bag is gone

Winterbells Tue 18-Nov-14 13:40:19


People have a terrible attitude towards fish, like they are disposable and don't matter.

Summerisle1 Tue 18-Nov-14 13:40:24

My understanding is that it is illegal to give goldfish away to unaccompanied under-16s but this tends to be cunningly got around. A friend of mine was horrified that her 2 dc (13 and 10) came home with a goldfish from a local fete. They had been accompanied by their 16 year old cousin so no law was broken. Worse, they'd parted with £5 for a fishbowl too so my friend was stuck with a fish she didn't want and which had certainly not been much of a prize given the cost of the bowl.

Her dcs knew jolly well that winning a goldfish wasn't something they'd have been allowed to do if my friend or her DH had accompanied them. However, the 16 year old cousin was much easier to persuade.

I think it is high time that there was an outright ban on the "giving away" of any live fish. Some local authorities do forbid this practice but it should be against the law country-wide.

Cranfieldmc Tue 18-Nov-14 13:42:31

Yanbu, completely cruel. I think if an animal charity were to prosecute they might win but not aware this has happened. I would never let my kids play. I love goldfish, when healthy they are beautiful, busy, inquisitive animals. They rarely are well looked after even by people with proper tanks. They need loads of space (preferably a pond but if not an absolutely huge tank) plenty of filtration, a varied diet. It's also a myth that they grow to the size of their tank. Their bodies do stop growing if their tank space is too small but their internal organs continue to grow for the whole of their lives, which results in a horrible death when the internal organs are too large.

5Foot5 Tue 18-Nov-14 13:45:40

YANBU and I am very surprised that this still goes on. Mind you - not half so surprised that you managed to keep them alive for three years!

We had a foray in to goldfish when DD was young. The first one lasted just longer than the 48 hours that would have meant we got our money back when it pegged. DD obviously upset so we replaced it.

Next one seemed a bit better but still only managed about a fortnight. More upset from DD so we decided to tackle this as a proper project. We got a book from the library and then followed advice on a tank, pump and whatever it was you had to put in the water. Bugger made it to about three months before it went fins up.

This time when I approached DD with the "I have got something sad to tell you" preamble she just said "Oh has my fish died again?" We gave up after that and moved on to guinea pigs which are much more satisfying and the last old sweetie lived to a grand old age..

As a child I remember they gave fish away at the local sports day that my Dad organised. I went with him to a garden centre on the morning of the event to collect them and they gave him about 200 fish in an infeasibly small bag which we then kept in a baby bath of the back seat of the car. I remember being horrified and was petrified the bag would burst on the journey home and leave me knee deep in goldfish

Tykeisagirl Tue 18-Nov-14 13:50:48

YANBU, it should be banned.

Goldfish shouldn't be kept in bowls, but in large properly filtered tanks that have had the water cycle set up at least a week in advance of them being put into the tank. If a child comes home from a fair with a goldfish in a bag and plonks it straight into tap water, the fish is either going to die within a few days, or spend the rest of it's life swimming in water which is gradually rotting its fins and gills.

OldLadyKnows Tue 18-Nov-14 13:53:15 It's illegal in Scotland.

sanfairyanne Tue 18-Nov-14 14:04:06


Sorryconnectioncannotbefound Tue 18-Nov-14 14:05:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShesAnEasyWuffer Tue 18-Nov-14 14:10:49

Yanbu, poor little things sad

My uncle won a fish at the fair when he was a child, my nan bought a companion for him. The fish outlived his companion and was still going when my uncle left home - it lived to 20 years old (and survived jumping out of the tank twice!).

WorraLiberty Tue 18-Nov-14 14:10:49


When my DH was a kid, he won a bloody rabbit at the fair!! Actually, it turned out to be a wild hare. His Dad had to set it free in the local forest. I really doubt it survived sad

Catthiefkeith Tue 18-Nov-14 14:15:38

Yadnbu. I remember walking the dog with my dad the day after the fair left when I was about 5 (so it was late 70's) and there were dozens of fish all over the playing field that had been emptied out of their bags when the fair had moved on. I was distraught, and have never attempted to win a fish since. sad

SnotandBothered Tue 18-Nov-14 16:55:08

I have just had another look at the biggest one of the two that we ended up with. It looks like part of his top fin is rotting away. We have him in a largish tank which is regularly cleaned, filters changed, as varied diet as the local aquarium/shop can give us and it seems that he is still not having a happy healthy life. As I said upthread, I am going to have to get an even bigger tank that I can't afford and don't have room for, but not having just looked at his fin properly, we don't have a choice.

Fucking bastard fair people not giving a fuck. sad

Purplepixiedust Tue 18-Nov-14 17:45:31

I would have been mad at my DH. You don't have to choose them as a prize. There are usually other options. I think its awful so tell my son no.

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