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Great Grandma Arrested For Selling a Goldfish
Her offence was to unwittingly sell a goldfish to a 14-year-old boy taking part in a trading standards 'sting'. At most, pet shop owner Joan Higgins, 66, expected a slap on the wrist for breaking new animal welfare laws which ban the sale of pets to under-16s.
Instead, the great-grandmother was taken to court, fined £1,000, placed under curfew - and ordered to wear an electronic tag for two months.
Seven-week curfew: Joan Higgins has to wear an electronic tag
The punishment is normally handed out to violent thugs and repeat offenders. The prosecution of Mrs Higgins and her son Mark is estimated to have cost taxpayers £20,000 and has left her with a criminal record.
Mark, 47, was also fined and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work in the community. Last night, as an MP criticised the magistrates, Mrs Higgins - who has run the pet shop for 28 years - said the family's eight-month ordeal had left them traumatised.
Too long have fish been subjected to the dirty, cramped, oppressive and deadly conditions of a fish bowl. Most people don't even know that the average fish just can't survive in such quarters. In fact, purchasing a fishbowl is tantamount to signing the death warrant of an innocent aquatic animal.
Fishbowls provide inadequate space, oxygen and water conditions for our beloved underwater friends. But all of these true facts continue to go unrecognized in countries like the U.S., and fish are continually abused and killed.
Please, sign this petition and give your support against the maltreatment of fish through fishbowls.
Goldfish bowls are very unsuitable homes for goldfish. There is very little surface area so the fish are constantly near death from suffocation as the CO2 forms a thick layer at the top.
Goldfish also grow 6-14 inches long not counting their tail so their growth will be very stunted in a bowl causing internal damage and pain to the fish, shortening its life dramatically.
Goldfish are very messy fish and need a very clean environment which cannot be provided in a bowl, they usually do not even have space for a filter.
So please sign my petition to stop the usage of goldfish bowls!
We've all seen the bettas in their little cups in Wal-Mart or pet chain stores. And we've seen the crowded tanks of goldfish. But what happens after the fish are purchased is sometimes inhumane.
Goldfish are sometimes forced to live in tiny "goldfish bowls" which are NOT suitable for goldfish at all. Goldfish grow to become SIX INCHES or more. These bowls are rarely more than five inches in length, and three inches in width. Goldfish produce more waste than many other fish, and these "goldfish bowls" quickly fill with waste. The tops of these bowls are rather small, and do not allow for a proper filter, thus carbon monoxide and ammonia will build up very quickly and eventually kill the fish.
Bettas tend to have just as worse a time as goldfish. In stores, many employees will tell the customer bettas will do fine in tiny cups their entire lives. Well, I'll tell you this. If you have a happy male betta, he will blow a bubble nest in the water, even if there is no female betta in sight. I have NEVER known a male in a cup to blow a bubble nest. Why? They are kept in very cramped conditions, rarely given water changes, and are forced to live swimming in their own waste. I realize many people keep bettas in their work office, but your office would look one heck of a lot better if you dished out the ten extra dollars and bought your betta a five or ten gallon tank for him to live in. One common myth is that males and females can live happily together. THEY CANNOT. There is the rare case where they can, but if left long together, the male usually kills the female.
There is also the occasional village idiot who comes up with "Betta Fight Rings", much like Pitbull Fight Rings, where they place two males in the same tank and bet on whose betta will win. Many of the time both bettas die, and if one lives, they are usually too tattered and die soon after. I ask you, even if they are "just fish", do they not deserve the best care possible? They are more than just decorations for your living room, or 99¢ you paid to play a game at a fair. I'm sure fish value their life more than just a couple of dollars.
I say to you, don't fish, like dogs, cats, horses, or birds, deserve rights, also? Should they be forced to live in dirty, cramped tanks in pet stores until someone comes along to purchase them. The ASPCA needs to do something about the inadequate conditions some fish are living in in pet stores. To "fish geeks" like myself, these are not just fish. They are a hobby, they have personality and spunk. Fish are like any other animal, and they deserve the same rights.