A MOTION will be presented to councillors this week to ban the giving of pets as prizes on Blaenau Gwent council land.

If the motion is approved Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s meeting on Thursday, November 23 the authority will join nearly all others in Wales in banning the practice.

For the last two years, RSPCA Cymru has been campaigning on the issue and over 20,000 people have signed petitions to back their call.

The RSPCA want to see the Welsh Government follow the Scottish Government’s example and outlaw the practice.

They have been writing to council’s all over Wales urging them to ban the practice on their land.

The motion will be put forward at the meeting jointly by five Labour councillors, Lisa Winnett, Sonia Behr, Tommy Smith, deputy council leader Helen Cunningham and cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, John C Morgan.

The motion said: “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.

Their concern is: “For the welfare of those animals that are being given as prizes.

“That many cases of pets being given as prizes may go unreported each year in Wales.

“We, therefore, call on this council to resolve to: “Ban outright the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form, on Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council land. and write to Welsh Government urging an outright ban on giving of

live animals as prizes on both public and private land in Wales. ”

The RSPCA have said that 17 of the 22 local authorities in Wales have already banned the practice including fellow Gwent authorities Torfaen, Newport, and Caerphilly amongst the number.

Ceredigion, Powys, and Isle of Anglesey councils are looking into the issue and are likely to ban the practice soon leaving only Monmouthshire having made no commitment so far.

RSPCA Cymru’s public affairs officer, Sioned Nikolic, said: “We really hope that we can soon say that all 22 local authorities have banned this outdated practice.

“We know that this is something people care about – with many assuming it is already banned.

“Sadly, this practice can still take place on private land despite the council bans, so we would ultimately like to see pets being given away as prizes banned outright by the Welsh Government.”

The RSPCA believes animal ownership is a big responsibility, and while goldfish can make great companions, they shouldn’t be acquired via a spur-of-the-moment game.

The animal welfare charity says that this is because Goldfish are easily stressed and very often fish that are won as prizes suffer miserably from shock, oxygen starvation or die from changes in water temperature, while many may die before their new owners can get them home.