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Goldfish-swallowing Briton banned from owning fish

The court heard Luke Berry swallowed the live goldfish as part of a "Neknominate" drinking game stunt on Facebook.

By Ben Hooper

OXFORD, England, March 3 (UPI) -- A British man has been banned from owning fish for five years after he posted a video online showing him swallow a live goldfish.

Luke Berry, 26, who posted the video showing himself swallowing the fish to Facebook in August 2014, pleaded guilty in Oxford Magistrates' Court to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

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Berry was banned from owning a fish for five years and was sentenced Monday to 120 hours of community service. He was also fined $768.

The court heard Berry swallowed the fish as part of a "Neknominate" drinking game. The games usually involve a participant "necking" an alcoholic drink, carrying out a stunt on video and then posting the video to social media with a nomination for another person to carry out a stunt.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals pursued charges against Berry under the Animal Welfare Act of 2006.

"The video shows that the fish was clearly alive when it was swallowed," RSPCA Inspector Andy Eddy said. "This was a callous and cruel way to treat a living creature. Eating a live animal and posting a video of it online for entertainment is not some light-hearted joke ---it is unacceptable."

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"We urge people not to involve animals in this horrible craze and to report anyone who has," Eddy said.

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