‘Not enough evidence' for RSPCA to prosecute over Brighton fish deaths

Preston Park rockery pond was closed for repair

Preston Park rockery pond was closed for repair

First published in News

The RSPCA has said it does not have enough evidence to prosecute Brighton and Hove City Council over fish deaths.

The council killed about 40 fish in the rockery pond at Preston Park while cleaning and repairing it in January.

Now the RSPCA has admitted it cannot do anything. It said: “The RSPCA was called by a concerned member of the public who had seen dead fish floating in the skips.

“We contacted the council and told them that they were not providing a suitable environment for the fish and arrangements were made to move the remaining fish to a nearby facility with ponds.”

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Comments (27)

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10:32am Wed 13 Feb 13

Crystal Ball says...

Not enough evidence other than the statement BHCC made to ensure the welfare of the fish, skips with non-oxygenated water and the dead fish themselves? No, clearly not enough evidence.

Not only do BHCC make the residents' lives a misery but they have now branched out to affect the creatures too.
Not enough evidence other than the statement BHCC made to ensure the welfare of the fish, skips with non-oxygenated water and the dead fish themselves? No, clearly not enough evidence. Not only do BHCC make the residents' lives a misery but they have now branched out to affect the creatures too. Crystal Ball
  • Score: 0

10:42am Wed 13 Feb 13

Baffled of Brighton says...

More like they are just not interested in prosecuting the Council.
Surely they could put a Freedom of Information in to collect any more information needed.
More like they are just not interested in prosecuting the Council. Surely they could put a Freedom of Information in to collect any more information needed. Baffled of Brighton
  • Score: 0

11:33am Wed 13 Feb 13

Surely not! says...

The RSPCA prefer to prosecute vulnerable and/ orelderly people who neglect their animals because they find themselves unable to cope and have no support.
The RSPCA prefer to prosecute vulnerable and/ orelderly people who neglect their animals because they find themselves unable to cope and have no support. Surely not!
  • Score: 0

11:34am Wed 13 Feb 13

Surely not! says...

Crystal Ball wrote:
Not enough evidence other than the statement BHCC made to ensure the welfare of the fish, skips with non-oxygenated water and the dead fish themselves? No, clearly not enough evidence.

Not only do BHCC make the residents' lives a misery but they have now branched out to affect the creatures too.
How have BHCC made your life 'a misery'? I am really interested to know.
[quote][p][bold]Crystal Ball[/bold] wrote: Not enough evidence other than the statement BHCC made to ensure the welfare of the fish, skips with non-oxygenated water and the dead fish themselves? No, clearly not enough evidence. Not only do BHCC make the residents' lives a misery but they have now branched out to affect the creatures too.[/p][/quote]How have BHCC made your life 'a misery'? I am really interested to know. Surely not!
  • Score: 0

11:46am Wed 13 Feb 13

mimseycal says...

No evidence? You have here two score+ of dead fish. You have here a skip filled with filthy water, You have here a department that admits it did not refresh the water because it may have caused spillage on a nearby cycle track.

What more evidence to neglect and cruelty resulting in the deaths of the fish do you need?

You need to know the fish died due to asphyxiation? A simple post mortem would reveal that if the evidence of your eyes and the experience of your inspectors is not considered sufficient. Or are you telling us that the department responsible have disposed of all the dead fish before you could take this all revealing step?

In that case, the RSPCA should be held to account for neglecting the welfare of the animals it has undertaken to defend which includes fish. Surely, you should have made sure you got at least a sample Corpus Delicti.
No evidence? You have here two score+ of dead fish. You have here a skip filled with filthy water, You have here a department that admits it did not refresh the water because it may have caused spillage on a nearby cycle track. What more evidence to neglect and cruelty resulting in the deaths of the fish do you need? You need to know the fish died due to asphyxiation? A simple post mortem would reveal that if the evidence of your eyes and the experience of your inspectors is not considered sufficient. Or are you telling us that the department responsible have disposed of all the dead fish before you could take this all revealing step? In that case, the RSPCA should be held to account for neglecting the welfare of the animals it has undertaken to defend which includes fish. Surely, you should have made sure you got at least a sample Corpus Delicti. mimseycal
  • Score: 0

11:48am Wed 13 Feb 13

Dealing with idiots says...

Surely not! wrote:
Crystal Ball wrote: Not enough evidence other than the statement BHCC made to ensure the welfare of the fish, skips with non-oxygenated water and the dead fish themselves? No, clearly not enough evidence. Not only do BHCC make the residents' lives a misery but they have now branched out to affect the creatures too.
How have BHCC made your life 'a misery'? I am really interested to know.
How long a list have you want?
[quote][p][bold]Surely not![/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Crystal Ball[/bold] wrote: Not enough evidence other than the statement BHCC made to ensure the welfare of the fish, skips with non-oxygenated water and the dead fish themselves? No, clearly not enough evidence. Not only do BHCC make the residents' lives a misery but they have now branched out to affect the creatures too.[/p][/quote]How have BHCC made your life 'a misery'? I am really interested to know.[/p][/quote]How long a list have you want? Dealing with idiots
  • Score: 0

12:13pm Wed 13 Feb 13

inadaptado says...

Dealing with idiots wrote:
Surely not! wrote:
Crystal Ball wrote: Not enough evidence other than the statement BHCC made to ensure the welfare of the fish, skips with non-oxygenated water and the dead fish themselves? No, clearly not enough evidence. Not only do BHCC make the residents' lives a misery but they have now branched out to affect the creatures too.
How have BHCC made your life 'a misery'? I am really interested to know.
How long a list have you want?
Please, spare me the melodrama. Most Argus commenters only have two real grievances against the Greens: 1) They didn't vote for them and are **** "their party" isn't in the council, and 2) Greens don't like cars, which seems to be a mortal sin around here. Everything else is just hogwash.
[quote][p][bold]Dealing with idiots[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Surely not![/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Crystal Ball[/bold] wrote: Not enough evidence other than the statement BHCC made to ensure the welfare of the fish, skips with non-oxygenated water and the dead fish themselves? No, clearly not enough evidence. Not only do BHCC make the residents' lives a misery but they have now branched out to affect the creatures too.[/p][/quote]How have BHCC made your life 'a misery'? I am really interested to know.[/p][/quote]How long a list have you want?[/p][/quote]Please, spare me the melodrama. Most Argus commenters only have two real grievances against the Greens: 1) They didn't vote for them and are **** "their party" isn't in the council, and 2) Greens don't like cars, which seems to be a mortal sin around here. Everything else is just hogwash. inadaptado
  • Score: 0

12:15pm Wed 13 Feb 13

NickBtn says...

It looks like enough evidence for a prosecution based on what the Argus has printed. This report also gives the additional information that it was the public that alerted the RSPCA and then on to the council. If this handn't happened then, presumably, more fish would be dead. So the council also were not keeping an effective eye on them. More evidence.

There should be a plan of the work, how the fish were to be cared for, risks (such as poor weather/likely ice etc). If this plan doesn't exist then there's the case. If it is wrong, again a case. If it wasn't followed, again a case.

The RSPCA should not fear the council. Multiple animals have died yet no action. The RSPCA say the environment was not suitable - so why no action on this basis?
It looks like enough evidence for a prosecution based on what the Argus has printed. This report also gives the additional information that it was the public that alerted the RSPCA and then on to the council. If this handn't happened then, presumably, more fish would be dead. So the council also were not keeping an effective eye on them. More evidence. There should be a plan of the work, how the fish were to be cared for, risks (such as poor weather/likely ice etc). If this plan doesn't exist then there's the case. If it is wrong, again a case. If it wasn't followed, again a case. The RSPCA should not fear the council. Multiple animals have died yet no action. The RSPCA say the environment was not suitable - so why no action on this basis? NickBtn
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Wed 13 Feb 13

qm says...

40 bodies due to negligence and elementary common sense not enough? Now if this had been 40 horses dead in a field, or 40 puppies in a shed . . . . my, wouldn't that have been a different story then?
40 bodies due to negligence and elementary common sense not enough? Now if this had been 40 horses dead in a field, or 40 puppies in a shed . . . . my, wouldn't that have been a different story then? qm
  • Score: 0

12:30pm Wed 13 Feb 13

mimseycal says...

qm wrote:
40 bodies due to negligence and elementary common sense not enough? Now if this had been 40 horses dead in a field, or 40 puppies in a shed . . . . my, wouldn't that have been a different story then?
Provided it wasn't a council owned herd of horses or shed.
[quote][p][bold]qm[/bold] wrote: 40 bodies due to negligence and elementary common sense not enough? Now if this had been 40 horses dead in a field, or 40 puppies in a shed . . . . my, wouldn't that have been a different story then?[/p][/quote]Provided it wasn't a council owned herd of horses or shed. mimseycal
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Wed 13 Feb 13

wippasnapper says...

Repairing it in January one would of thought not exactly the right time of year to be removing coy fish from its pond, dead fish seen floating in a WHAT “SKIP” pardon the pun but do these contractors know anything about coy fish and the right environment i.e. a rusty old SKIP is far from the right environment for coy fish and the council should have made shore there contractors know exactly what they where doing i.e. where they intended of housing the fish wile the repair work was being carried out so yes the RSPCA should do something about it ask anyone who breads these coy fish YOU CANT STIK THEM IN A SKIP!
Repairing it in January one would of thought not exactly the right time of year to be removing coy fish from its pond, dead fish seen floating in a WHAT “SKIP” pardon the pun but do these contractors know anything about coy fish and the right environment i.e. a rusty old SKIP is far from the right environment for coy fish and the council should have made shore there contractors know exactly what they where doing i.e. where they intended of housing the fish wile the repair work was being carried out so yes the RSPCA should do something about it ask anyone who breads these coy fish YOU CANT STIK THEM IN A SKIP! wippasnapper
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Wed 13 Feb 13

Surely not! says...

Dealing with idiots wrote:
Surely not! wrote:
Crystal Ball wrote: Not enough evidence other than the statement BHCC made to ensure the welfare of the fish, skips with non-oxygenated water and the dead fish themselves? No, clearly not enough evidence. Not only do BHCC make the residents' lives a misery but they have now branched out to affect the creatures too.
How have BHCC made your life 'a misery'? I am really interested to know.
How long a list have you want?
How long a list have I want?!

I don't care how long. I just want to understand the use of the word misey here. What constitutes a 'misery'?
[quote][p][bold]Dealing with idiots[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Surely not![/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Crystal Ball[/bold] wrote: Not enough evidence other than the statement BHCC made to ensure the welfare of the fish, skips with non-oxygenated water and the dead fish themselves? No, clearly not enough evidence. Not only do BHCC make the residents' lives a misery but they have now branched out to affect the creatures too.[/p][/quote]How have BHCC made your life 'a misery'? I am really interested to know.[/p][/quote]How long a list have you want?[/p][/quote]How long a list have I want?! I don't care how long. I just want to understand the use of the word misey here. What constitutes a 'misery'? Surely not!
  • Score: 0

12:35pm Wed 13 Feb 13

bogs says...

More like 'not enough balls'!!!
More like 'not enough balls'!!! bogs
  • Score: 0

12:53pm Wed 13 Feb 13

Cass says...

Why would anyone be surprised that the council have no regard for living things. People don't seem to be too high on their list of priorities so fish will come way down the list. I do not understand how the RSPCA can't prosecute, if they were kept in SKIPS. Moving fish from their environment to a well prepared one is taking a chance so putting them in rusty skips was bound to create a problem, for the fish. What's wrong with the RSPCA, dead fish in huge numbers and no evidence? Hmmm! a dead body is evidence isnt it? Council admit to the action of moving them and not keeping their environment clean, in other words neglecting them. Enough to start with and they would go after a member of the public, why different with a council? It is outrageous that the fish were treated in that manner in the first place, a specialist team should have been involved to ensure a good outcome to the process. I thought the greens were all about the environment and conservation, certainly blotted their copy book on another level.
Why would anyone be surprised that the council have no regard for living things. People don't seem to be too high on their list of priorities so fish will come way down the list. I do not understand how the RSPCA can't prosecute, if they were kept in SKIPS. Moving fish from their environment to a well prepared one is taking a chance so putting them in rusty skips was bound to create a problem, for the fish. What's wrong with the RSPCA, dead fish in huge numbers and no evidence? Hmmm! a dead body is evidence isnt it? Council admit to the action of moving them and not keeping their environment clean, in other words neglecting them. Enough to start with and they would go after a member of the public, why different with a council? It is outrageous that the fish were treated in that manner in the first place, a specialist team should have been involved to ensure a good outcome to the process. I thought the greens were all about the environment and conservation, certainly blotted their copy book on another level. Cass
  • Score: 0

1:45pm Wed 13 Feb 13

NickBtn says...

This is bonkers. Painting the signs so early will just mean that people will get used to ignoring them. This is likely to continue as won't be any enforcement (unless well above 30) and is not targeted just to minor residential streets/near schools etc where there is nearly universal agreement to the idea

Hardly a great way to spend our money!
This is bonkers. Painting the signs so early will just mean that people will get used to ignoring them. This is likely to continue as won't be any enforcement (unless well above 30) and is not targeted just to minor residential streets/near schools etc where there is nearly universal agreement to the idea Hardly a great way to spend our money! NickBtn
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Wed 13 Feb 13

Crystal Ball says...

NickBtn wrote:
This is bonkers. Painting the signs so early will just mean that people will get used to ignoring them. This is likely to continue as won't be any enforcement (unless well above 30) and is not targeted just to minor residential streets/near schools etc where there is nearly universal agreement to the idea

Hardly a great way to spend our money!
Er?
[quote][p][bold]NickBtn[/bold] wrote: This is bonkers. Painting the signs so early will just mean that people will get used to ignoring them. This is likely to continue as won't be any enforcement (unless well above 30) and is not targeted just to minor residential streets/near schools etc where there is nearly universal agreement to the idea Hardly a great way to spend our money![/p][/quote]Er? Crystal Ball
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Wed 13 Feb 13

Eugenius says...

Here is the council statement on the dead fish. It's worth noting that the pond was being repaired because it was leaking so fish could have died anyway if they had been left.

"This is a very regrettable situation. Unfortunately we have lost some fish in the course of the urgent repair works to the park and pond - around forty from up to 1000.

"We thought we had made good plans and preparations for temporarily storing the fish on-site. Fish were stored on site in specially-insulated skips - specifically chosen as they're hard to vandalise. However freezing weather meant we couldn't refresh the water regularly without causing an ice hazard on the path and cycle track nearby.

"We have been in contact with the RSPCA, to review what happened and learn the valuable lessons for the future. Staff are very upset as they're keen conservationists and would never have wanted this."
Here is the council statement on the dead fish. It's worth noting that the pond was being repaired because it was leaking so fish could have died anyway if they had been left. "This is a very regrettable situation. Unfortunately we have lost some fish in the course of the urgent repair works to the park and pond - around forty from up to 1000. "We thought we had made good plans and preparations for temporarily storing the fish on-site. Fish were stored on site in specially-insulated skips - specifically chosen as they're hard to vandalise. However freezing weather meant we couldn't refresh the water regularly without causing an ice hazard on the path and cycle track nearby. "We have been in contact with the RSPCA, to review what happened and learn the valuable lessons for the future. Staff are very upset as they're keen conservationists and would never have wanted this." Eugenius
  • Score: 0

1:59pm Wed 13 Feb 13

vogon1 says...

NickBtn wrote:
This is bonkers. Painting the signs so early will just mean that people will get used to ignoring them. This is likely to continue as won't be any enforcement (unless well above 30) and is not targeted just to minor residential streets/near schools etc where there is nearly universal agreement to the idea

Hardly a great way to spend our money!
Right comment, wrong thread. You want the 20mph thread I guess??
[quote][p][bold]NickBtn[/bold] wrote: This is bonkers. Painting the signs so early will just mean that people will get used to ignoring them. This is likely to continue as won't be any enforcement (unless well above 30) and is not targeted just to minor residential streets/near schools etc where there is nearly universal agreement to the idea Hardly a great way to spend our money![/p][/quote]Right comment, wrong thread. You want the 20mph thread I guess?? vogon1
  • Score: 0

2:11pm Wed 13 Feb 13

mimseycal says...

Eugenius wrote:
Here is the council statement on the dead fish. It's worth noting that the pond was being repaired because it was leaking so fish could have died anyway if they had been left.

"This is a very regrettable situation. Unfortunately we have lost some fish in the course of the urgent repair works to the park and pond - around forty from up to 1000.

"We thought we had made good plans and preparations for temporarily storing the fish on-site. Fish were stored on site in specially-insulated skips - specifically chosen as they're hard to vandalise. However freezing weather meant we couldn't refresh the water regularly without causing an ice hazard on the path and cycle track nearby.

"We have been in contact with the RSPCA, to review what happened and learn the valuable lessons for the future. Staff are very upset as they're keen conservationists and would never have wanted this."
They would have died anyway? Are they seriously considering this as mitigating circumstances?

Ye gawds! Give me strength!
[quote][p][bold]Eugenius[/bold] wrote: Here is the council statement on the dead fish. It's worth noting that the pond was being repaired because it was leaking so fish could have died anyway if they had been left. "This is a very regrettable situation. Unfortunately we have lost some fish in the course of the urgent repair works to the park and pond - around forty from up to 1000. "We thought we had made good plans and preparations for temporarily storing the fish on-site. Fish were stored on site in specially-insulated skips - specifically chosen as they're hard to vandalise. However freezing weather meant we couldn't refresh the water regularly without causing an ice hazard on the path and cycle track nearby. "We have been in contact with the RSPCA, to review what happened and learn the valuable lessons for the future. Staff are very upset as they're keen conservationists and would never have wanted this."[/p][/quote]They would have died anyway? Are they seriously considering this as mitigating circumstances? Ye gawds! Give me strength! mimseycal
  • Score: 0

2:32pm Wed 13 Feb 13

mimseycal says...

What is interesting is that Brighton & Hove City Council are now inviting our input on their bid, and I quote, "to become recognised as a world-class environment, by achieving international Biosphere Reserve status from the United Nations.

Provided you happen to be a ewe and not a Koi carp in a leaky rockery pond at Preston Park I suppose.
What is interesting is that Brighton & Hove City Council are now inviting our input on their bid, and I quote, "to become recognised as a world-class environment, by achieving international Biosphere Reserve status from the United Nations. Provided you happen to be a ewe and not a Koi carp in a leaky rockery pond at Preston Park I suppose. mimseycal
  • Score: 0

2:33pm Wed 13 Feb 13

NickBtn says...

vogon1 wrote:
NickBtn wrote:
This is bonkers. Painting the signs so early will just mean that people will get used to ignoring them. This is likely to continue as won't be any enforcement (unless well above 30) and is not targeted just to minor residential streets/near schools etc where there is nearly universal agreement to the idea

Hardly a great way to spend our money!
Right comment, wrong thread. You want the 20mph thread I guess??
Yes - clearly the bonkers has spread to me too. Help!
[quote][p][bold]vogon1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]NickBtn[/bold] wrote: This is bonkers. Painting the signs so early will just mean that people will get used to ignoring them. This is likely to continue as won't be any enforcement (unless well above 30) and is not targeted just to minor residential streets/near schools etc where there is nearly universal agreement to the idea Hardly a great way to spend our money![/p][/quote]Right comment, wrong thread. You want the 20mph thread I guess??[/p][/quote]Yes - clearly the bonkers has spread to me too. Help! NickBtn
  • Score: 0

5:18pm Wed 13 Feb 13

John Steed says...

shut down the RSPCA and then the donated money wasted running these pseudo cops could be better spent on organisations that better promote animal welfare and educate the public in animal care responsabilities.
they could not do anything because the council had taken all reasonable care. if anyone had been injured due to ice on adjacent paths the claims would have been high and these pages full of derogatory posts.
shut down the RSPCA and then the donated money wasted running these pseudo cops could be better spent on organisations that better promote animal welfare and educate the public in animal care responsabilities. they could not do anything because the council had taken all reasonable care. if anyone had been injured due to ice on adjacent paths the claims would have been high and these pages full of derogatory posts. John Steed
  • Score: 0

5:22pm Wed 13 Feb 13

mimseycal says...

The council has clearly not taken reasonable care. Putting living creatures in a temporary (unsuitable) environment without ensuring that you regularly check them is not, by any stretch of the imagination, taking reasonable care.
The council has clearly not taken reasonable care. Putting living creatures in a temporary (unsuitable) environment without ensuring that you regularly check them is not, by any stretch of the imagination, taking reasonable care. mimseycal
  • Score: 0

6:38pm Wed 13 Feb 13

Maxwell's Ghost says...

I've cancelled my direct debit to the RSPCA. I shall change it to the PDSA.
The council admitted failing in its response to the press.
I've cancelled my direct debit to the RSPCA. I shall change it to the PDSA. The council admitted failing in its response to the press. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Wed 13 Feb 13

fredflintstone1 says...

The RSPCA is only a charity.

This matter should be referred to the police to investigate. They have the legal power to carry out a proper investigation into this matter and get the evidence, if people complain. Sussex Police even has a wildlife officer.

People can also email the new Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner too, saying they would like this matter investigated, as a possible criminal breach of the Animal Welfare Act, to reiterate the point.
The RSPCA is only a charity. This matter should be referred to the police to investigate. They have the legal power to carry out a proper investigation into this matter and get the evidence, if people complain. Sussex Police even has a wildlife officer. People can also email the new Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner too, saying they would like this matter investigated, as a possible criminal breach of the Animal Welfare Act, to reiterate the point. fredflintstone1
  • Score: 0

8:25pm Wed 13 Feb 13

Dave At Home says...

Maxwell's Ghost wrote:
I've cancelled my direct debit to the RSPCA. I shall change it to the PDSA.
The council admitted failing in its response to the press.
Well done, and I am withdrawing all financial support from them too and finding more considerate animal lovers who will stand up for the animals' rights.
[quote][p][bold]Maxwell's Ghost[/bold] wrote: I've cancelled my direct debit to the RSPCA. I shall change it to the PDSA. The council admitted failing in its response to the press.[/p][/quote]Well done, and I am withdrawing all financial support from them too and finding more considerate animal lovers who will stand up for the animals' rights. Dave At Home
  • Score: 0

12:23pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Barry Trotter says...

Not enough evidence?
Must be a better case here than some of the wild goose chases the RSPCA have been involved in.
Better off supporting small local charities than the big nationals.... they've too many fat cats to feed!
Not enough evidence? Must be a better case here than some of the wild goose chases the RSPCA have been involved in. Better off supporting small local charities than the big nationals.... they've too many fat cats to feed! Barry Trotter
  • Score: 0

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