In May 2008, the Goldfish Division of the Margate City Council infiltrated an illegal goldfish running ring:
A licensing sting, involving a goldfish, has led to a Margate man being disqualified from keeping a pet shop for three years.
On 22 May 2008, a Licensing Officer again visited the premises and found budgies, cockatiels, gerbils, rabbits and fish on display inside the shop. She told Mr. Curtis that she wanted to buy a goldfish and, after some discussion, was sold one for £3.50. She also enquired about the price of rabbits and was told £15. She left the shop with the goldfish.
In 2010 the distributing of goldfish for other than recreational use has become so serious that city councils are employing schoolboys in sting operations to entrap goldfish peddling grandmas posing as pet shop owners:
But this electronic tag has been fitted on a great grandmother who was hauled before the courts for selling a goldfish to a boy of 14.
Pet shop owner, Joan Higgins, 66, was fined £1,000, put under curfew and warned she could face a year in prison.
She was caught in an undercover sting when the local council sent a schoolboy into her shop to buy a £1.50 goldfish.