Thursday, April 01, 2010

UK Granny Fined £1,000 For Selling Goldfish to Child

Via Raw Story:

A British grandmother was heavily fined and electronically tagged for selling a goldfish to a child, triggering criticism Wednesday of over-zealous use of animal protection laws.

Pet shop owner Joan Higgins, 66, was fined 1,000 pounds (1,500 dollars, 1,120 euros) also given a dusk-to-dawn curfew for selling an animal to a person under the age of 16, but her 47-year-old son Mark -- also ordered to do community service -- slammed the ruling as a farce.

The pair were prosecuted after the local council sent a 14-year-old boy to buy a goldfish in a "sting" operation following reports that their shop, Majors Pets, had sold a gerbil to a teenager with learning difficulties.

The shopkeepers sold the fish without asking his age or how the fish would be cared for, prosecutors said.

...The story was highlighted by a number of British newspapers Wednesday. The Daily Express said it made a "farce" of Britain's legal system, adding in a front-page headline: "Proof Britain really has gone mad."

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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