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Last Updated: Friday, 14 January 2005, 13:30 GMT
Ban on goldfish prizes 'dropped'
Goldfish
Many goldfish given as prizes are flushed down the toilet
Plans to stop goldfish being given away as fairground prizes have been dropped, according to press reports.

Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett is reported to have dropped the ban from the planned Animal Welfare Bill.

A compromise allowing children to take away fish as prizes if they are with someone aged over-16 has been agreed instead, the Financial Times reports.

An environment department spokeswoman said work on the bill was continuing, but would not comment on the report.

Consultations

The FT says Chief Secretary to the Treasury Paul Boateng has appealed to Mrs Beckett to water down the proposal in the wake of the hunting controversy.

A Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions spokeswoman said: "I simply can't comment on this. We are not privy to what ministers say to each other in private conversations."

But she added: "We have been consulting widely on the bill. It's been to an environment committee. We are working on parts of the bill to take account of the consultations and recommendations.

"There may possibly be some changes."

The proposed ban was prompted by concerns that many fish won by children are not properly cared for and are often flushed down the toilet.


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