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First ‘Neknomination’ Case for Animal Welfare Offence

24 April 2014

UK - A man who swallowed a live goldfish as part of a ‘Neknomination’ stunt has pleaded guilty to an offence under the Animal Welfare Act.

Gavin Hope of Gateshead appeared at the city’s magistrates court on Tuesday. He admitted failing to meet the needs of a goldfish by failing to protect it from pain, suffering, injury or disease by drinking it.

Mr Hope was ordered to pay a £300 fine, £30 victim surcharge and £431.17 costs.

Goldfish ‘Neknomination’ footage posted online

The RSPCA was contacted about the incident on 2 February after video footage was posted on Facebook.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Michelle Charlton said: “The video shows Mr Hope prepare a pint glass with lager, chilli, tequila, a fresh egg and fish food before revealing why the fish food is going in.

“He picks up another glass containing a small amount of water and the goldfish, which is swimming around, and shows it to the camera before drinking it down, and following it with the pint.”

A vet report advised that the fish would have died in time, the cause of death being a mixture of suffocation and acid ph levels in the stomach, as well as the alcohol he drank.

In mitigation the court heard that it was an impulsive act which would not be repeated and of which Mr Hope was ashamed.

Animal suffering ‘unacceptable’

Michelle added: “Eating a live animal and posting a video of it online for entertainment is not some light-hearted joke – it is unacceptable.

“We take the use of animals in these ’Neknominate’ challenges very seriously.”

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