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Bridgend Council bans giving live animals as prizes

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plastic bags containing goldfish

Bridgend County Borough Council has banned the use of live animals as prizes for all events held on council-owned land as part of its ongoing efforts to provide high standards of animal welfare.

The ban also marks the authority’s commitment towards supporting the RSPCA’s #NoFunAtTheFair campaign, which is calling for changes in UK law to prevent animals being used as prizes.

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The move means that the council has become the latest local authority in Wales to join the campaign alongside other authorities including Caerphilly, Conwy, Newport, Wrexham and the Vale of Glamorgan councils.

The #NoFunAtTheFair Pets as Prizes campaign is largely aimed at the giving away of goldfish at funfairs where the use of unsuitable plastic bags means that the fish are likely to suffer from shock and oxygen deprivation, or even death due to changes in water temperature.

While an outright ban on giving pets away as prizes can only be achieved through a change in the law, the RSPCA is asking councils across the country to join their campaign and prohibit the practice in the hope that it will encourage UK Government to legislate against it.

David Bowles, RSPCA head of public affairs said: “RSPCA Cymru is delighted that Bridgend Council has become the latest local authority to ban the giving of pets as prizes on their land. This is great news for goldfish and other animals across the local area. Getting a pet should all be about preparation, but giving a pet as a prize works completely counter to that.

“Thousands of our supporters have urged their Council to back the RSPCA’s campaign and tackle this issue locally. We hope many local authorities will now follow Bridgend and take this important step.

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“We also hope the Welsh Government will ultimately act to bring in a nationwide ban on this practice across Wales.”

The Shared Regulatory Services (SRS), who provide the animal health and welfare functions on behalf of Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan councils, work closely with the RSPCA and other agencies in areas such as animal disease prevention and control, licensing, stray dog services, dog breeding and more, to ensure that high standards of animal health and welfare are maintained across the region.

Councillor Rhys Goode, Bridgend Council’s Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Future Generations said: “We are delighted to support the RSPCA with this campaign and hope that it will help to bring the charity closer to its goal of persuading UK Government to consign this practice to the past where it belongs.

“We are committed towards maintaining the highest standards of animal welfare across Bridgend County Borough and the superb efforts of the SRS team have not gone unrecognised.

“Their role in a joint operation which resulted in the rescue of 240 horses was recently recognised with a partnership award from the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, while the RSPCA themselves presented the team with two golds and one bronze in its 2022 national Paw Prints awards for their work in dealing with stray dogs, animal licensing and kennelling.

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“The SRS team were also the only service in Wales to achieve the gold standard in animal licensing this year, so I would like to congratulate them on their success and thank them for their ongoing commitment.”

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