Pier to stop giving away goldfishes as prizes from next month
A pier in Essex will stop giving away goldfishes as prizes following planned protests by an animal rights group.
Bosses at Clacton Pier said the practice will end next month after Essex Animal Defenders said they would protest outside the pier tomorrow.
The pier said a promise was made to review the situation after it received a string of complaints over giving away goldfish as prizes from a game stall.
And following consideration at board level, managing director Billy Ball said it will end by the middle of next month when the current stall tenants lease comes to an end and a new agreement is in place.
Mr Ball told Clacton Pier: We have always accepted that there are two sides to this issue.
Some are strongly against goldfish being given out as prizes, and we appreciate that, while others are keen for it to continue – as evidenced by the numbers using the stall.
Our position was that it is not illegal, and the stall was checked out by the RSPCA and given a clean bill of health in terms of how they looked after the fish.
There are strict laws in place that have to be followed and it has been going on from fairgrounds for many, many years.
However, we are not in the business of upsetting people and needed to make a decision. On balance we have decided that this practice will not take place next season.
Mr Ball said the pier is in a legally binding contract with the tenant, but this lease is due for renewal at the end of season.
He added: We will make the change for 2019. That means there will be no goldfish handed out by mid-September.
Essex Animal Defenders was due to hold a protest outside the pier tomorrow but it was cancelled following the announcement.
Mr Ball said: We know that some people will be disappointed about this decision and you cannot please everybody all the time.
After a lot of careful thought, we believe that this is the best way forward.
In view of the possible protest we felt it was important to make our position clear and put it out it in the public domain now.