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Monday, May 3, 2010

Grandmother ordered to wear an ankle tag for 7 weeks after selling a goldfish to a 14 year old boy

As part of an initiative to protect animal rights, it was decreed that pets cannot be sold to young children below the age of 16, unless they had been accompanied by an adult, so that they properly understand how to take care of the child. If a person flouted the role, they were subject to being fined. In one case, investigators found that a pet store was not sticking to this rule, and so they were subject to a setup where a 14 year old boy was sent to buy a goldfish. The store owners were found guilty after they sold the goldfish to the boy without any checks or controls. And they were fined, so far so good. However, what made matters different was that the owners of the store, a 47 year old man and his 70 year old mother were also ordered to do hours of community service, and the 70 year old lady was judged not able to do the community service, so was sentenced to a night curfew, attested to by attaching an ankle tag to her (what this turned out was that the granny was attached an ankle tag for 7 weeks, for selling a goldfish to a 14 year old, provoking outrage) (link to article):

"What gets me so cross is that they put my mum on a tag. She's nearly 70, for goodness sake. You would think they have better things to do with their time and money," he said. But Trafford Council in northern England defended the decision to prosecute, noting that the gerbil sold to the teenager with learning difficulties, who was also 14, was put in a cup of coffee.
The story was highlighted by a number of British newspapers. 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."

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