The UK’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has deplored the practice of being filmed while swallowing a goldfish swimming in a glass of alcohol as “horrible” and “unacceptable”. The society reminds participants that by eating a live fish they are committing a criminal offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and could be prosecuted if caught.
This is part of a curious passion called ‘Neknominating’ which is growing steadily online. Recently, a woman rode a horse into a Tesco supermarket in Bishop Auckland, County Durham and drank a Pepsi Max, allegedly as part of a “Neknomination challenge”.
The RSPCA claims to have received 14 calls of protest since the weekend, and reported numerous calls from outraged people to charitable organizations.
RSPCA wildlife scientist Nicola White said: “We are extremely concerned about this shocking new trend.
“We have had quite a few similar cases reported to us in a very short space of time – but this could be just the tip of the iceberg as there’s probably many more we have not been told about.”
She added: “Eating a live animal and posting of a film of it on the internet is not some light-hearted joke – it is unacceptable. It sends out a clear message that animal cruelty is OK as long as it is in the guise of entertainment. We urge people not to take part in this horrible craze and to report to us anyone who is taking part.”