BANNING the giving of animals as prizes on land owned by Caerphilly council could send a “powerful message” for others to follow, RSPCA Cymru says.

Caerphilly council’s environment and sustainability scrutiny committee unanimously supported a motion which, if adopted, would see an outright ban on the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form, on land owned by the local authority.

The motion, put forward by Cllr James Pritchard with cross party support, will now be considered at a full council meeting.

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.


Chris O’Brien, from RSPCA Cymru, told a meeting of the council’s scrutiny committee that the authority has an opportunity to “spearhead” the campaign in Wales.

“It becomes almost a domino effect where other local authorities step up and take action,” Mr O’Brien said.

Newport council is the only authority currently known in Wales to have introduced such a ban.

Cllr Pritchard said he hopes the council can lead the way on ending an “outdated practice.”

“Animal ownership is a big responsibility, and is one that should be planned and well thought out,” he said.

“Sadly, animals often do not have their welfare needs met prior to, during or after being given as a prize, and since 2014 there have been 24 cases reported to the RSPCA of live animals being given as prizes in Wales.

“As a council, we have the opportunity to ban the giving of live animals as prizes on council owned land, and ensure the welfare of these animals is not compromised, as well as raising public awareness of the issue.”

The motion also proposes writing to the Welsh Government to call for a ban to cover all public and private land in Wales.

Of 24 cases reported to the RSPCA since 2014, 60 per cent were goldfish being given at fairgrounds, but other animals including dogs, ducklings and horses were also reported.