Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (FAACE) Goldfish as prizes (Southport)

ots-faace animals tony moore 4 southport ots onthespot ots

In April Southport-based Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (FAACE) visited the Sillcocks fairground off Bentham Way Birkdale after a distressed mother got in touch to tell them that goldfish were being given as prizes.

She was under the impression that this is now illegal. Unfortunately this is not yet the case. However, the fact that it is still legal does not mean that it is acceptable.

FAACE wrote to Sillcocks twice asking them to consider stopping the controversial act of giving goldfish as prizes on their fairgrounds. As yet, they have received no reply.

The group are now asking for people to email Sillcocks at [email protected] and make a request on their Facebook site asking them to stop giving goldfish as prizes. Please let FAACE know if you get an answer.

Below is the letter that FAACE wrote to Sillcocks Fairs.

Dear Sir,

We were alerted by a worried mother that you are giving away goldfish as prizes at your fairground. This April we went to the Birkdale fairground off Bentham Road and we did indeed see many bags of goldfish hanging up in two stalls and took a number of pictures.

While this may be legal it is morally wrong and obviously animal cruelty.

Fish are sentient beings and not mere objects. They are very delicate and their well-being depends directly on their environment. Being in a tiny plastic bag full of water for hours on end is not a proper environment. The way they are kept before they go in a bag is also not fish friendly. They are stressed out by the mere circumstances and handling.

What happens to a goldfish once it is handed over to its new owner, which in most cases will be a child? If it doesn’t die during transport it will die shortly after. This is due to a lack of knowledge and poor handling in its new home often in in the form of a small plastic bowl, which may have been bought from your stalls. Some end up being flushed down the toilet in a half-dead state.

Getting a fish is something that needs serious consideration and should not be a spontaneous decision. The worst of all ircumstances is winning a fish on a fairground.

Mothers tell us of the drama when their children notice that the poor fish is floating around in the plastic bag or in a container belly up. A cuddly soft toy is a much better prize for a child and can be enjoyed and played with for a long time.

Is it really commercially viable to keep gold fish at your fairground? How many die whilst in your care without even being given away? Do you know whether the breeder sells them on to you in good condition?

You may argue that it is an old English tradition to give away goldfish at fairground as prizes; however, society has evolved over time. Whilst bull and bear baiting, public executions and burning at the stake were once traditions in this country they have rightly been abandoned.

In 2010 Southport Pleasureland decided to no longer have goldfish. We don’t believe that this animal-friendly decision caused them any financial losses.

In fact, the general public applauded this decision when it was reported in the local paper. People don’t go to a fairground because of the goldfish.

They go for the fun of having a day out and to enjoy the rides.

Please stop giving away animals as prizes as part of your good practice and make your fairgrounds friendly to animals and animal-lovers. You will get nothing but praise if you communicate this on your Facebook page and your website.

Yours faithfully,

Tony Moore.

Twitter: @FAACE_UK

Facebook: Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe – Faace



There is no business connection with Silcocks Funland Southport. The only fish  they provide are in their restaurants!



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