New Senate Bill Aims At Banning Live Animal Prizes In Carnivals

Think of a ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, cotton candy and live gold fishes in plastic wrappings. These are just some of the mainstays in fairs and carnivals ever since the time they first gained popularity as a good way to spend a Friday night, especially the latter of those above.

The workaround goes that you sink a ping pong ball into a bowl from a distance and you win the gold fish inside, or you knock some bottles with a ball and you bag a rabbit or any other type of small animal. However, that may all change soon since a new bill in the Illinois Senate aims to ban carnivals and fairs alike from awarding live animals as prizes forever.

At the moment, Illinois’ Humane Care for Animals Act already prohibits rabbits, ducklings and baby chicks to be used as prizes for carnivals. Furthermore, the new Senate Bill 2472 aims to expand that law to all types of animals – which includes that gold fish you always want to win. Sorry, kid.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Suzy Glowiak Hilton, a Democrat from Western Springs, who said that it was backed by the Humane Society of the United States.

“This isn’t just a ‘goldfish bill. Carnivals across the country give out other animals as prizes, specifically iguanas and other exotic reptiles,” she said, saying that a lot of these reptiles can easily grow in size, making them a burden for the family who only wanted to give their kid a small pet. And because these animals can grow big, they would also need specialized care, which the common family usually can’t, or wouldn’t want to, provide.

“Many are simply abandoned and wreak havoc on our natural wildlife, or are turned into local animal control centers which are not equipped to handle them.”

However, the bill also has a workaround that lets carnivals give coupons to winners, which they can use to buy animals from licensed pet stores.

“As far as nostalgia, this bill will create an even better experience for kids who win the coupons. They will be able to go to a pet store with their parents and pick out exactly which animal they want,” she added.

gold fish Research shows that Americans are now taking antibiotics designed for pet fish to treat their health problems due to lack of access to affordable health services in the U.S. Pixabay