Under 16, no fish.

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Slug

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Outrageous. This boils my blood. Its ludacris and really not that serious. Its a pet yes, but at the end of the day its just a fish. Not only that but the law itself is stupid. I know many very mature and responsible aquarists under the age of 16, we have many here on FL.

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.
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.

She added: 'It's ridiculous. I mean, what danger am I that I have to wear an electronic tag? These last few months have been a very stressful time.'
The seven-week curfew imposed by the court means she is unable to babysit her great-grandson at his home or go to bingo sessions with her sister, and will be unable to attend a Rod Stewart concert after tickets were bought for her by her nephew, actor Will Mellor.

Her son said: 'I think it's a farce. What gets me so cross is that they put my Mum on a tag - she's nearly 70, for goodness' sake.
'She's a great-grandma so she won't be able to babysit a newborn baby. You would think they have better things to do with their time and money.'
Mr Higgins claimed the undercover operation was a clear case of entrapment - when a person is encouraged by someone in some official capacity to commit a crime - and said the case should never have gone to court.

He said: 'The council sent the 14-year-old in to us. It is hard to tell how old a lad is these days. He looked much older than 14.'
He added that his mother almost fainted in the dock when magistrates told her she could go to prison for the offence.
'I told her they wouldn't send her to prison but she was still worried,' he said. 'The only other time she has been in court is when she did jury service.'

Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 it is illegal to sell pets - including goldfish - to children under the age of 16 unless they are accompanied by an adult. Pet shops must also provide advice on animal welfare to buyers.
The maximum penalty is imprisonment for up to 12 months, or a fine of up to £20,000, or both.
The Higgins family's ordeal began when council officials heard that Majors Pet Shop in Sale, Greater Manchester, was selling animals to children.
They sent the 14-year-old schoolboy into the shop to carry out a test purchase and Mr Higgins sold him the goldfish without questioning his age or providing any information about the care of the fish.
A council officer in the shop at the time also noticed a cockatiel in a cage that appeared to be in a poor state of health. A vet found the bird had a broken leg and eye problems. It was later put down.

Mrs Higgins and her son were charged with selling the fish to a person aged under 16 and with causing unnecessary suffering to a cockatiel by failing to provide appropriate care and treatment.
Pleading guilty, Mrs Higgins told Trafford magistrates the cockatiel had not been for sale and she had been bathing its eye daily.

She had intended to take it to the vet but had been distracted and worried because her other son was in hospital.
The court heard that Mrs Higgins had possessed a licence to sell animals for many years and had never had any problems before.
She was fined £1,000 and given a community order with a curfew requiring her to stay home between 6pm and 7am for seven weeks.
Mrs Higgins did not have her licence to sell animals removed, but both she and her son were told that if they ever appeared in court for a similar offence they could face a jail sentence.
David Davies, Tory MP for Monmouth, said: 'You simply couldn't make it up. It is absolutely ludicrous that old ladies should be hounded through the courts and electronically tagged for something like this.

'At a time when courts are being told not to lock up career burglars we have them issuing severe punishments like this on little old ladies.' Mr Davies, who has served as a special constable for three years, said: 'Not only is it traumatic for her but it is a complete waste of time and taxpayers' money. It is ridiculous.
'Instead of getting 14-year-old boys to act in this type of sting they should have them trying to nail people who sell drugs outside our schools.'
Trafford Council said it launched an investigation after an unsubstantiated complaint that the shop had sold a gerbil to a 14-year-old girl with learning disabilities. The council claimed the animal later died after the child placed it in a disposable coffee cup with a plastic lid on top.
But the complaint did not form part of the legal action in court and its truth cannot be verified.
Mrs Higgins said the shop had not stocked gerbils for months before the complaint anyway.
Defending the goldfish case, Iain Veitch, head of public protection at Trafford Council, said: 'The evidence presented for this conviction clearly demonstrates that it is irresponsible to sell animals to those who are not old enough to look after them.
'Let this conviction send out a message that we will not tolerate those who cause unnecessary suffering to animals. The council will always try to support pet and business owners so that they are able to care for their animals properly, but where they continually ignore the advice they are given, we will not hesitate to use our statutory powers.'
The goldfish was later adopted by an animal welfare officer and is in good health.
 

platy ben

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Wow, I've never heard of that law in the UK, the only one I know is you can't buy koi or marine fish under 16.
 

Chris123

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that's Riduluous!

i can't belive that go through that much trouble for this


CB
 

Charlemagne

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Ugh, people are ridiculous sometimes.
 

Gouramiguy17

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Wow, I would die if I couldn't buy fish. I think that that law is a bit extreme
 

bass master

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I always think its terrible when a government overextends the application of a law like that... Its just a waste of tax payer money and doesn't really accomplish anything that the creators of the law probably intended
 

Elodea

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"Pet shops must also provide advice on animal welfare to buyers."

*cough* *cough* *cou-LFS* *cough* *cough*
 

Tigerfishy

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Yes, it is ridiculous, wasting my tax money on this.

She gets all these restrictions put on her, and the real criminals (someone who recently killed a motorcyclist and permanently disabled motorbike's passenger weeks away form their wedding due to driving too fast on the wrong side of the road) gets 3 years in prison. 3 years with the possibility of being released in 18 months time for "good behaviour" for ruining 2 families lives forever.

The real criminals are better treated than the law abiding citizens. If a serial traffic offender got caught speeding, there would be a slap on the wirst, if I did it (no convictions), I woud get fined, points on my license. The list goes on.

It is crazy, many responsible fishkeepers are under 16, I personally think the younger members here (Not that it's even apparent until school is mentioned lol) are very sensitive to the needs of the fish, conversely, many adults (NOT our members) can be very irresponsible with another life form...

OK, I'm done, sorry!!!
 

tatty_kassy

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Not a big surprise, I read that a few weeks ago this 71 yr old woman was arrested and cuffed for asking an officer "why?" When he approached her & her friends while they were just lazily standing on the sidewalk.
for standing on a sidewalk.
Can you believe that?? Hard tax dollars at work.
 

harpua2002

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What a shame. I'm a member of several forums and have met many young members online that do a better job keeping fish than a lot of adults.
 

platy ben

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I just turned 16 in february Do I do a good job?

This law is such a shame, and certainly a waste of money.
 

Elodea

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Yep, Ben, ridiculous. Still, I wish that the LFS here would provide advice on the welfare of their animals. (I'm 13. Pretty old for a strand of pondweed, isn't it? lol)
 

harpua2002

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platy ben said:
I just turned 16 in february Do I do a good job?

This law is such a shame, and certainly a waste of money.
Elodea said:
Yep, Ben, ridiculous. Still, I wish that the LFS here would provide advice on the welfare of their animals. (I'm 13. Pretty old for a strand of pondweed, isn't it? lol)
Hehe, this is exactly my point... I never would have guessed that you two were teens until you told us or talked about school or something! ;D
 

7.3IDIDSL

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That is crazy. I don't think they have any laws like that around here.

The other sad part is this lady was fined, placed under a curfew and has to wear a tag all for selling a fish to a 14 year old. A drug dealer or gang member wouldnt even receive a sentence like that where I live.
 

navyscuba

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This is the most ridiculous thing I ever read.
 

Jaysee

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While I don't agree because I don't agree with any laws restricting our personal freedoms, is it really that unreasonable to require kids under 16 be accompanied by an adult when purchasing a pet? Owning a pet requires a commitment of time and money. There is an informal contract that by purchasing an animal, you will care for it and provide for it. It IS unlawful for minors to enter into contracts, and it cannot be assumed that those needs can be met unless an adult is present to give concent. That's probably the reasoning behind it, IMO.

Minors can't get a dog or a cat on their own (at least not in NJ - even before this law) for obvious reasons, so considder this a victory in the name of fish equality

The punishment was rediculous
 

jersey

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wow

Pet Store owner faces legal action over goldfish
April 1: Msnbc’s Tamron Hall talks with pet store owner Joan Higgins about her violation of the Animal Welfare Act of 2006, by selling goldfish to a 15-year-old boy, and what limitations it has placed on her daily routine.
 

bolivianbaby

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platy ben said:
I just turned 16 in february Do I do a good job?

This law is such a shame, and certainly a waste of money.
Elodea said:
Yep, Ben, ridiculous. Still, I wish that the LFS here would provide advice on the welfare of their animals. (I'm 13. Pretty old for a strand of pondweed, isn't it? lol)
I'm going off topic (sorry everyone), but both of you gentlemen show a great deal of responsibility in regards to your fish. I never would've guessed you both were teenagers.

I hope my daughter shows the same amount of responsibility when she becomes a teenager. You're excellent role models and it's a pleasure having you both on the forum.
 
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Lucy

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Jersey, your thread has been merged with Slug's since it's the same topic.
 

platy ben

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I'm going off topic (sorry everyone), but both of you gentlemen show a great deal of responsibility in regards to your fish. I never would've guessed you both were teenagers.

I hope my daughter shows the same amount of responsibility when she becomes a teenager. You're excellent role models and it's a pleasure having you both on the forum.
*Wipes tear from eye* Awww One of the many reasons I love this forum! Such friendly people that you can really get to know
 
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