Sunderland Council to ban live animals being given as prizes at fairs
By Heather Fagan
Sunderland City Council is looking to require funfairs being held on council land to ban the giving of live animals as prizes from stalls.
The move comes after Liberal Democrat councillors in the city backed a campaign by the RSPCA to protect animals, often goldfish, who often die before they reach their new homes.
Whilst Sunderland Council already prohibit fairs, circuses, events or performances being held on council land from featuring wild animals performing, there is no such ban on pets being given as prizes.
After requests from Lib Dem councillors, the Council is now proposing to update the terms of their licence agreements for events held on council land to include a ban on the giving of live animals as prizes.
Commenting, Lib Dem councillor for Doxford and Tunstall Heather Fagan said:
"We are a nation of animal lovers and Sunderland is no different. But whilst we rightly don't allow circuses or fairs to use wild animals for performances, we should also protect animals from suffering or dying as a result of being given as prizes at fairs.
"Giving away goldfish as prizes has gone on for a long time but we need to make sure that acquiring an animal to be kept as a pet is properly planned, and that animals aren't dying before people can get them home.
"The RSCPA report that goldfish given as prizes at fairs are easily stressed and very often suffer miserably from shock, oxygen starvation or from changes in water temperature.
"It is great news that Sunderland Council have listened and will make sure there are no pets as prizes on fairs being held on council land in our city."