Animal Aid


Posted 21 June 2002

Fish confined perspex cubes of just over four inches - marketed as Aquababies - will no longer be sold in UK shopping centres thanks to a hard-fought campaign by Animal Aid and the Captive Animals' Protection Society.

A court hearing at Trafford Magistrates Court on 18 June upheld Trafford Borough Council's decision to refuse to re-issue a licence for Aquababies to be sold. It is illegal to sell pet animals in public places and the magistrates ruled that the Trafford Shopping Centre was indeed a public place.

This case has now set a precedent that animal welfare groups can capitalise on and prevent pet animals elsewhere being sold in similar circumstances.

Each perspex cube contains coloured gravel, a plant and one or two live fish. Manufacturer instructions include feeding a small pinch of food once daily or every other day through a tiny hole in the top of the cube, via the tip of a wet toothpick.

Says Animal Aid Director, Andrew Tyler:

"When we first heard of Aquababies we needed no convincing that they were cruel although expert opinion soon confirmed it. These fish live out their shortened lives in a toxic mini-environment - the idea of keeping fish in such a tiny space is an affront to animal welfare. One visitor to a stall told us that he saw a shopper pick up a cube and shake it like a snow-shaker - not believing it to contain live fish!"

The groups have also halted the sale of Aquababies at shopping centres in the following locations: Nottingham, Solihull, Leeds, Liverpool, Swindon, Tunbridge Wells, Derby and Dartford. The Trafford Centre was the last remaining outlet for sales of Aquababies in the UK.

Notes to Editors

  • More information from Elaine Toland or Andrew Tyler on 01732 364546.
  • We have an ISDN line for broadcast-quality radio interviews.

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