Animal welfare activists have criticised funfair stallholders who gave away live goldfish as prizes at the weekend.

Marianne Crowley, who runs a Keighley wildlife sanctuary, complained to the West Yorkshire Animals in Need charity, which took the matter to Bradford Council.

The fair, in Victoria Park, was organised by a company called W Marshalls, which had a contract with the council to use the land.

West Yorkshire Animals in Need co-founder Tommi Townsend said: "These goldfish are often transported in horrendous conditions. It's just as easy to give a soft toy.

Mrs Crowley, 51, claimed offering live goldfish as prizes was no longer allowed because Bradford Council banned it under a bylaw.

However, a spokesman for Bradford Council said: "There is not a bylaw stopping stallholders giving goldfish away but we have included a clause in new contracts, which come into effect in January 2009, preventing this from happening on council-owned land.

"This decision was made in March but this year's contracts had already been agreed."

A spokesman for W Marshalls said the issue had been "fully covered" by Bradford Council.