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Mariocrazy's Mum

In The Sun Newspaper

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While waiting in the indian takeaway :druel the other night I spied something in the Sun newspaper about laws changing and how Goldfish were to be kept only in appropriate sized bowls!!! :yikes

Annoyingly I couldn't get a good look at it, but I believe the paper was scoffing at the thoughts of goldfish having 'rights' :angry:

Did anyone else see this? can you fill me in on the details?

Thanks! :)

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c/o The Independent (UK newspaper)

Life in a goldfish bowl earns protection from laws on animal rights

By Marie Woolf, Chief Political Correspondent

04 March 2005

Their three-second memory means they are unlikely to remember whether they have been badly treated by their owners. But the humble goldfish is to be afforded new rights that could leave people who fail to cater for their pet fish's needs - including changing their water regularly - facing prosecution.

In a strengthening of the animal protection laws, goldfish, pond carp and even farmed salmon are to gain unprecedented legal protection from neglect and mistreatment. The size of goldfish bowls, and even the cleanliness of the gravel beneath them, will become a matter for animal welfare inspectors when the law comes into force.

Finding a fish floating upside down in its tank could even land a neglectful owner in court.

The Government confirmed yesterday that people who mistreat fish kept in aquariums and for "farming purposes" could be prosecuted, after an extension of welfare laws which apply to dogs and cats to domesticated fish.

A government report issued yesterday confirmed "the welfare offence will apply to farmed fish ... and fish kept in other situations where man is responsible, such as in aquariums".

Under a new animal welfare law, fishermen will be free to reel in their catch without fear of prosecution. But people buying a goldfish will have a legal duty to be mindful of their welfare needs.

"It's the way that you are looking after the fish that matters," said a spokesman for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He added: "We don't want to impose impossibly high standards but there are basic good husbandry techniques you need to keep in mind when buying goldfish. People will need to think of the way they are treating them. We don't want to say their goldfish bowl must be 100 metres by 50 metres."

Pet fish are currently protected from cruelty, but an updating of the 1911 Act will introduce a fresh duty of care on owners. Cephalopods - squid and octopuses - are also on course to gain new rights, with the same protection as dogs, cats and horses.

The Government said it plans to review the law regarding cephalopods,with a view to reclassifying them as animals, because of evidence suggesting they feel distress and suffer pain.

Chefs who fail to consider the welfare of a squid when preparing it for a seafood salad could also find themselves in court.

But lobsters, crabs or crayfish - routinely boiled alive before being served up - have been rejected for further protection.

"We do not consider there is sufficient evidence to suggest that crustaceans can experience pain or suffering to warrant their inclusion," said the Government, in its response to a report on the draft animal welfare Bill.

The Government is also planning to afford better protection for wild animals, such as pheasants, bred for shooting. People would also have a duty to treat wild animals, such as deer hit by cars, humanely. The sale of pets, including birds and rats and mice, in fairs and over the internet is also to be regulated.

But an attempt to stop circuses using wild animals, including elephants, has failed. Their situation will be assessed case by case, to see whether their treatment is cruel under a tougher regulatory system.

The draft Bill was scrutinised by MPs on the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. The MPs recommended that electric-shock dog collars, designed to force unruly canines into submission, be regulated. The docking of tails of working dogs should also be banned, the committee said.

But the Government confirmed in its response to the report that it had refused both suggestions.

"The main premise of the Animal Welfare Bill - of a 'duty of care' for pet owners to their animals - is something the RSPCA is delighted with," said Jackie Ballard, the director general of the RSPCA. "Yet by not curtailing the sale of electric shock collars, allowing the continued tail docking of working dogs and delaying the regulation of the greyhound racing industry, the Government is missing a huge opportunity to improve the welfare of many dogs compromised by these practices."

The Bill is expected to be published by the Government after the general election.

I coouldnt find the from sun... but this may have been what they were talking about?

Edited by Lozbug

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Guest podded_pea
Their three-second memory means they are unlikely to remember whether they have been badly treated by their owners.

Its a shame the researcher was so lazy...else it could have been a good article....

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Thanks Loz :D

It was very similar, but it was an article purely about Goldfish rights (I think it was called 'The scales of Justice') .... must be the same thing basically, but then there was also the bit when The Sun gives it's opinion too (GRRRR).

But anyhow, I guess this puts the onus on our LFS to give the correct advice on tank sizes and how many fish can be kept in them from the timethe laws are in force! ..... maybe this will bring about a fond farewell to the goldfish bowl at last! :tbanana:lol:

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Guest VxShady

So its okay to mistreat animals that we believe, yet have no evidence, don't feel any pain. And goldfish have no memory, thats why whenever they see me they instantly start begging for food because apparently they forget that I'm the one that feeds them. :blink: Sometimes.. I just really dislike human beings.

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How would they reinforce that? Knock on every ones door to see if your treating your fish properly? Like with dogs and horses and the like, when they go outside, some one sees them all scraggly and abused, and calls the authorities, but no one sees that little bowl up in your bedroom.

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It would help if stores didn't sell to people who were going to put a fish in a bowl, a lfs i go to says it won't sell any living thing if you haven't got a filtered tank for it, its not perfect but its a start.

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I think that what this will do is add teeth to the various animal welfare ordinances. If you have ever seen a commercial fish hatchery where "food" fish are bred and raised you would realize that in many of them, care is balancing on the edge of "cruel" . There are some who have, for various reasons and problems stopped filtration or feeding of vats of fish - allowing them to die miserable deaths. The bill would allow the people who failed to care for the fish to be prosecuted to a greater degree. There is little or no punishment that can be meted out for failing to care for business "inventory", but with this law, there is now a punishment dictated for mistreatment of animals.

It redefines fish from "inventory" or "property" to "living creature".

The fact that the petshop goldfish also falls into this category is something that has been used by the tabloids to splash this law around and make it look ridiculous - making people laugh about the fact the the "police" will be looking in their goldffish bowls in the kid's room.

The fact that the goldfish is included in this law is simply a nice by-product of a law that is intended to reclassify fish from "property" to "living creature that deserves proper care and treatment". The law is a good one. The papers and news media have done it a great disservice by their spin on the "goldfish police". :angry:

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Well, it's better than nothing.

However, it will be very hard to enforce and probably not many changes will actually come about. Shops will continue to sell goldfish in bowls and people will continue killing them through ignorance and neglect. The police, RSPCA or whoever will never know about half of the abuse that goes on. They are very unlikely to actually prosecute any hobbyist fishkeepers.

Unfortunately the Bill has been much watered down from its original intent. The spirit of genuine enforceable animal protection has been lost from it, in my opinion, and only lip-service protection has been left. For example, the practice of giving goldfish away as fairground prizes was to have been banned, but that got dropped, so despite all this so-called 'protection' of pet fish - all this consideration of their welfare and living conditions - they can still legally be swung around in plastic bags full of untreated tap water and handed out to children who have not the knowledge or money to care for them. 99% of those fish are doomed, as we well know. So much for their welfare.

And the dogs' tails are still to be docked and the greyhounds still have no formal protection from all the abuses they suffer.....

Sigh. :(

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