Carnival goldfish kept according to regulations


Romilly Scragg

A FAIR will continue to give away goldfish as prizes this weekend despite questions over their welfare.

Concerns were raised about the Hook-a-Duck stall in Harry Sharland’s funfair at Penyffordd Carnival last weekend, with fears the creatures were “overheating” in their plastic bags of water.

Mr Sharland said the stalls abided by all appropriate regulations but would withdraw the fish if asked to do so by organisers.

The fair returns this weekend to Connah’s Quay Festival at Wepre Park and town council clerk Ian Jones has said he expects goldfish to be there as usual.

“Goldfish in bags is something that’s been happening for as long as I can remember,” he said.

“Stallholders have to comply with legislation and I’m quite happy to leave the fairground controller to make these decisions.

“If we do get complaints then we’ll look at it much closer, but it’s not something that’s been a concern previously.”

He added: “It was quite warm last week, but the forecast for this weekend is for much cooler temperatures.”

Penyffordd mum Caroline Roberts, who was one of those whose children won goldfish at last weekend’s fair, said she had been worried about the bagged fish being carried around all day.

“It wasn’t very nice,” she said. “I was surprised when I saw the fish because I thought it had been stopped years ago.

“Lots of children had them.

“We live in the village and we’ve got a fish tank so I wasn’t overly concerned – my husband took it home straight away. But not everyone was from the village.”

Following the concerns raised this week, Penyffordd community councillor Colin Bithell said Penyffordd Carnival organisers had now decided to ask Mr Sharland’s funfair not to bring fish to future village events.

Mr Sharland said no one had raised concerns with him but confirmed he was always happy to comply with organisers’ wishes.

However, as a member the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain, he said his fair complied with all the necessary regulations and the fish were properly cared for.

“They’re not cold water fish,” he said.

“And it’s in our interest to keep the fish alive. If they die, it’s not a good sign.

“We’re ruled by laws. Some people don’t understand.

“They think we just turn up but you’ve got to have permission to set up a fair.

“But if someone comes to me and they’ve got an issue we can do something about it,” he added. “I don’t want to cause problems.”

After the concerns raised at Penyffordd, a Flintshire Council spokesman said the Animal Health and Welfare team had checked and were satisfied there were no animal health and welfare issues.

As things stand, Mr Sharman has not been asked to keep the fish away from Saturday’s carnival at Wepre Park and said depending on how many were left, he “supposed” they would be there.

“Fish are very popular on a fairground and stopping them would mean stopping stallholders getting a living,” he said.

However, he said he would mention the situation to those running the stalls and “put them in the picture”.

See full story in the Leader

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