RSPCA Re-Launches #NoFunAtTheFair Goldfish Campaign

The UK’s largest animal welfare charity has re-launched its #NoFunAtTheFair campaign against goldfish as prizes.

  • New data shows the continued shock of the public at pets being given as prizes.
  • RSPCA says winning pets should be a thing of the past, but it isn’t – yet.
  • Goldfish as prizes are already illegal in Scotland but not in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

The RSPCA, the UK’s largest animal welfare charity, is once again calling for an outright ban on giving away pets as prizes. The organisation has long campaigned against the tradition of giving away goldfish as funfair prizes. It’s these goldfish that have inspired the RSPCA’s ongoing and recently re-launched #NoFunAtTheFair campaign.

Public Shock at Pets as Prizes

A recent RSPCA survey found that over 80% of people polled were shocked by the ongoing legality of the practice of giving away live goldfish as prizes. Some local authorities have taken it upon themselves to ban giving pets away as prizes – including goldfish. However, many more have yet to do so, leaving fair operators and others free to continue giving away goldfish across much of the UK.

Late last week, the animal welfare charity officially re-launched its #NoFunAtTheFair campaign for summer 2023. The campaign calls for the outdated practice of goldfish—and potentially other small pets—being handed out as prizes to be banned outright in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Already Banned in Scotland

Goldfish as prizes are already banned in Scotland. Since 2016, it’s been illegal to offer or give goldfish in bags at funfairs anywhere north of the border.

Meanwhile, across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, around 50 local authorities have banned pets as prizes in the last two years. But with more than 300 local authorities nationwide in total, there are still many others that must follow suit to see the practice resigned to the history books once and for all.

The RSPCA is therefore urging concerned members of the public to ask their local councils to ban pets being given away as prizes on council-owned land, if they haven’t already. People can also write to their local government representative or representatives asking for wider change across the board, the charity suggests.