PEMBROKESHIRE County Council will implement a ban on giving pets as prizes, a move which has been welcomed by the RSPCA.
The RSPCA said the practice of giving away pets as prizes at fairs or parties was “obsolete” and welcomed the move.
Newport, Wrexham and Caerphilly councils are among those who have previously backed an RSPCA campaign calling for a ban.
Over 7,500 have now taken campaign action contacting their local authority in their individual areas to ban pets being allowed to be given out as prizes.
Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet met on Monday (September 5) to discuss a notice of motion from Cllr Alistair Cameron in which he said he was concerned about the ‘welfare’ of these animals.
Cabinet member Cllr Jon Harvey added there was ‘no place’ in the 21st century for pets to be given as prizes.
Cllr Cameron said: ‘If you have a pet you have a responsibility for the welfare of the animal and even in the case of goldfish you have to provide a proper aquaarium and that doesn’t really fit the practice to have pets. as price.
“This is not a problem for Pembrokeshire County Council at present, but it could be in the future when there is a request for a fair or party where pets could be provided as price.
“I think we need to have a clear policy on this and I think we need to write to the Welsh Government expressing our opposition to pets as prizes as they have the power to legislate in this area.”
Cllr Jon Harvey said: “I strongly support the recommendation, I would like to thank Cllr Cameron for bringing this notice of motion.
“There’s no place, as far as I’m concerned, in the 21st century for pets to be given as prizes in any form, so I’m more than happy to move the recommendations.”
Cllr Harvey called for a third recommendation, that council write to all town and community councils asking for their support for an outright ban.
This was seconded and all recommendations were approved unanimously.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Cameron said: ‘I am delighted Cabinet has backed my Notice of Motion that an outright ban on the giving of live animals as prizes in any form be implemented on Council lands.
“I am also delighted that the Council will write to the Welsh Government asking for an outright ban on public and private land across Wales and hope that the decision taken by this Council will increase the likelihood of a total ban at across the country.
“Ownership of an animal is a big responsibility that needs to be planned and well thought out, in order to help provide the best quality of life for that animal – not an impulsive event resulting from play. There is no room in the 21st century for pets given as prizes.
RSPCA Cymru Public Affairs Director Chris O’Brien said: “We are delighted that Pembrokeshire County Council has taken this step, which really underlines the importance of animal welfare for local officials and their constituents.
“It is also fantastic that the council is writing to the Welsh Government encouraging them to consider a ban for the whole of Wales; and will also write to their local town and community councils to encourage them to pass bans on their land as well – which is a great proposal.
“There is huge momentum behind this campaign; and that’s in large part thanks to our amazing supporters who have urged their council and local councilors to act in such large numbers.
“Many people are quite shocked when they learn that it is not already forbidden to give fish and other pets as prizes – so we hope we can continue to raise awareness and hope that the local authorities who are contacted as part of this campaign listen to their constituents and act quickly.”
Chris added: “Pet ownership is a big responsibility – and while goldfish can make great companions, they shouldn’t be acquired through impulsive play.
“Goldfish are easily stressed and very often fish which are won as prizes suffer miserably from shock, oxygen deprivation or die from changes in water temperature, and many may die before their new owners can’t bring them home.
“They are misunderstood pets because they can make excellent companions. but it can actually be difficult to care for and new owners should do their research before acquiring the fish, not after. When you bring home a fish for the first time, it’s important to set up the tank at least two weeks in advance to make sure everything goes smoothly, and that’s just not possible for anyone. one who won a fish unprepared for it. ”
The RSPCA continues to argue with the Welsh Government and the UK Government that pets given as prizes should be banned outright and that national legislation in both countries is ultimately a requirement.