A town in Wales is banning the gifting of animals as prizes on land owned by the government.
Councillors in Caerphilly County Borough in Wales are also looking to expand that ban to cover all public and private land in the country.
Currently it is an offence to give an animal as a prize to anyone under 16, except within a family context, but RSPCA Cymru says this does not go far enough.
The animal welfare charity is calling for an outright ban, regardless of age, similar to one introduced in Scotland.
But it says the council could send a “powerful message” by introducing a ban on the giving of live animals, in any form, as prizes on land owned by the authority.
“Ultimately, RSPCA Cymru believes that the introduction of a Scottish-like outright ban on animals as prizes on both public and private land by the Welsh Government is the most effective means to prevent animals being given thoughtlessly as prizes and therefore ensuring the welfare of these animals,” it says.
“However, in implementing a ban on council-owned land, Caerphilly County Borough Council could deliver a powerful message to the local community, Welsh Government and their counterparts in England and other parts of the world, where a ban on the giving of animals as prizes has not yet been sanctioned.”
Since 2014, there have been 24 cases reported to the RSPCA of live animals being given as prizes in Wales.
Of these, 60% were goldfish being given at fairgrounds, but other animals including dogs, ducklings and horses were also reported.
The motion, put forward by Cllr Jamie Pritchard with cross-party support, says:
We are concerned about the number of cases reported to the RSPCA each year, regarding pets given as prizes via fairgrounds, social media and other channels in Wales.
“We are concerned for the welfare of those animals that are being given as prizes.”