THE Vale of Glamorgan Council is taking steps to clamp down on the practice of issuing pets as prizes.

A report presented to the organisation’s cabinet next month will suggest banning the custom at all events held on council land.

It also proposes putting a stop to the custom of releasing helium balloons and follows a similar move in relation to paper lanterns.

This comes after the RSPCA issues information highlighting just how serious and widespread the problem of issuing pets as prizes is.

Welfare needs are often not met before, during or after this practice, while those receiving pets are frequently not prepared to take care of them.

Between 2014 and 2020, there were 48 cases of live animals being given as prizes reported to the RSPCA in Wales.


A large number of these were goldfish, but other examples include dogs, ducklings and horses.

The RPSCA would like to make it an offence to give away an animal as a prize to anyone, except within the family context, while at present it is only criminal to do so to under-16s.

Councillor Eddie Williams, Vale of Glamorgan Council cabinet member for legal, regulatory, and planning services, said: “Giving animals away as prizes is completely inappropriate and, as a council, we support the RSPCA’s stance that this practice should be stopped.

“To that end, we will now allow any event that offers animals as prizes to take place on council land.

“Having already banned the release of paper lanterns at such locations, we will also adopt the same approach to balloons.

“I would also encourage anyone who may attend an event where pets are being given away to carefully consider the welfare of the animals involved and whether it is something they want to be involved with.”