The RSPCA is appealing for information after a group of children were seen kicking bags containing live goldfish which were being given as prizes at a fair in East Yorkshire.

The animal welfare charity was contacted after concerned members of the public witnessed the incident on Wednesday 4 September at a fair in Mill Street, Driffield.

The incident has prompted the RSPCA to re-issue pleas to fairground owners about not giving out goldfish as prizes.

Inspector Lucy Green said: “This was a small fair with around 10 rides and a stall which was, sadly, giving away goldfish as prizes. Members of the public witnessed a group of several children kicking around bags with goldfish in them. One of the people who saw this told the children, who were aged between 12 and 16, not to do it but they ran off. They recall that one of the children had red hair and was wearing a bright green jumper.

“It is very likely that the fish were stressed and may have died as a result. It is very sad that children were seen doing this. We believe that children should be taught to be compassionate to all animals, no matter what they are – from goldfish to dogs and horses.”

Anyone who has any information should contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.

Lucy added: “The RSPCA is opposed to the giving of live animals as prizes and would say to people who sees this at other events – don’t be tempted.

“Animal ownership is a big responsibility that needs to be planned and well thought out – not a spur of the moment thing that happens just because someone has won a prize. Games offering animals as prizes don’t take this into consideration. Very often the ‘prize’ animals suffer miserably, as they do not have their welfare needs met prior to, during and after being given as a prize.

“Goldfish are often offered as prizes, but are easily stressed. They may suffer from shock, oxygen starvation or even die from changes in water temperature. Many fairground fish die before their new owners can get them home – or soon afterwards.”

The RSPCA is opposed to the giving of live animals as prizes and have long discouraged the practice, encouraging members of the public not to attend any showgrounds, fairs or other events where live animals are being given as prizes. A number of local authorities have introduced a policy of not allowing animals to be given as prizes at any fundraising activities held on or in council-owned land or buildings.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website.