Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Fishy Fishy!

Joan Higgins (owner of Major's Pets Greater Manchester) fell foul of Nanny's jobsworths recently, and was electronically tagged.

Her crime?

She sold a goldfish to a 15 year old boy!

The law requires that animals cannot be sold to under 16s, unless they are accompanied by an adult.

Nanny's chums from Trafford Council had heard rumours that she had sold a gerbil to an underage girl with learning difficulties, who later dropped it into a cup of coffee. Therefore they sent in the boy to test the system.

Ms Higgins was tagged because she is not fit enough to perform community service.

During the "sting operation", an animal welfare officer also noticed a cockatiel in the store that appeared in distress and, when examined, was found to have a broken leg and eye problem.

Higgins was fined £1K and ordered to stay in her house between 1800 and 0700.

I don't like to see animals suffer, and assume that the sentence (taking into account the suffering of the cockatiel) is reasonable. However, the sting operation used by the council (that in effect was entrapment) used to test the system sits uncomfortably in a democracy.

The suffering of the cockatiel could have been identified by a simple visit (open and above board) by the animal welfare officer. Fishing for criminal activity, in the hope of finding something, is not a path that councils should be travelling.

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  1. Monty Python11:05 AM

    Dropping a gerbil into a cup of coffee?

    If they would have found a dead parott it would have been funnier.

  2. It seems that our justice system hands out punishments that are either over the top for minor offences or far too soft on major offences.....We have also become a nation obsessed with fines....When the criminal justice system becomes just an extension of the inland revenu, the justice system looses the support of the population.

  3. Old Greeny12:39 PM

    Very true, Tonk...Yesterday, I read in the "Torygraph" that robbers are often treated less severely than parking offenders. Seems wrong to me!!

  4. John B Stryge1:32 PM

    Joan Higgins (owner of Major's Pets Greater Manchester)

    Joan sounds a bit like John. And Major?! - well, she's obviously a Tory and therefore had to be targetted.

  5. Tonk.4:54 PM


    I came onto the site this morning and thought there was something missing but, I couldn't for the life of me work out what it was.....It's just hit me......The Camel has wandered of....Hoooorah!!!!!!!!!

  6. The reports state that the 'Council Officer' who set up this 'test purchase' was present in the shop - so the lad WAS accompanied by an adult. (Child protection?)

  7. RavingMad10:44 AM

    Firstly, I didn't know that pets had to be accompanied by an adult ;0)

    Secondly, I hear the woman concerned on the radio. She said the bird was disabled, she had bought it injured some time ago. No one queried the history of the bird rather went with what was seen and made assumptions thereupon.

    I actually think this case is outrageous. Because of the 'humour' the courts and the local councvil have once again got away with murder. It is entrapment and the criminal justice system is undermined as a result. MPs can get away with murder and theft and still carry on their live sunfettered - and look at Patricia Scotland.....?????? Purcell and Glasgow ...?????

  8. Well am I surprised? There is only one way - the time-honoured traditional way - of becoming a goldfish owner, and that is to get it in a plastic bag full of water at a Bank holiday funfair. Any other method is highly dubious.

  9. Ken. For the first time I disagree with your comment, in fact, I even got a little angry.

    I live about 20 minutes walk from the shop, 5 minutes in a car. That is the first I heard about a gerbil. The cockatoo was poorly, including a weeping eye which she bathed daily. It was not for sale. It was in the shop because that was a better environment than a dark, cold storeroom.

    The boy was 14 by the way. They did not look for an underdeveloped 14 year old. They sent in a boy who could most likely get away with buying a pint if the bar was busy. The last thing a person of her or her sons generation would think of in a pet shop is asking for ID.

    £1000 pound fine and a tag, and her son got community service. Others have only received cautions for proper crime.

    I believe you can still win a sick goldfish at a funfair, whatever age you are. Funfairs are much to scary places for jobsworths.