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Should goldfish be given away as prizes? Here is what you think

PUBLISHED: 14:48 05 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:05 05 April 2018

Picture: Steve Adams

Picture: Steve Adams

Some say it could make a child’s holiday, other claims it is gratuitous animal cruelty, while others believe it is a total non-issue.

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

Whatever your stance, the subject of goldfish being used as prizes has been brought into focus this week after a petition was started demanding that Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach stop the practice.

The petition was launched on Monday and has already acquired more than 880 signatures.

But not all support the cause, with many arguing that the custom can be harmless to the fish and beneficial to families, and others simply disregarding the significance of the issue all together.

500 people had their say in a poll on this website, with 68pc agreeing the practice should be stopped, 26pc voting that it should continue and 6pc claiming indifference.

Colin Bond from Coventry. Picture: Jacob MasseyColin Bond from Coventry. Picture: Jacob Massey

On the seafront in Great Yarmouth, locals and visitors alike echoed the results of the poll, expressing mixed views but with a majority leaning towards banning the practice.

Colin Bond, 29, from Coventry, said: “I think it should be banned. It is unfair on the fish. A teddy bear is a better prize than a goldfish.”

Keith Rendall, 60, from the Orkney Islands, said: “I am an animal lover, but goldfish? I think if they were giving cats away or something it would be a bit different.

“Some people really want to win them and it gives children a practical pet that could do some good. For children who live in built up areas this could be their only chance to have some kind of interaction with animals and it could inspire them to help nature and conservation projects when they’re older.

Keith Rendall from the Orkney Islands. Picture: Jacob MasseyKeith Rendall from the Orkney Islands. Picture: Jacob Massey

“In an ideal world we wouldn’t have any animals in captivity, but we don’t live in an ideal world.”

Karen Bird, from Great Yarmouth, said: “They do it in other places too and I think it is disgusting. The poor things shouldn’t be left to suffer in the hot weather.”

On Facebook there was also a mixed reaction to the petition.

Heather Towers said: “I have won fish from the seafront before and they are in my tank doing very well. The fish are not harmed at all by doing them as prizes.”

Karen Bird from Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jacob MasseyKaren Bird from Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jacob Massey

Andy Porter said: “Remember winning them when I was a child but they always died soon after taking them home, poor things.”

Andrew Cox said: “The fish we eat is pulled from the sea and left to flap about until they suffocate. Oh the irony of animal welfare.”

The petition can be found here.

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