Leading veterinary organisations have launched a joint campaign to help owners better understand the complexities of their pet’s five welfare needs.
It comes after advance statistics from PDSA’s 2016 Animal Wellbeing Report showed almost two-thirds of owners (65%) are still unfamiliar with the five legal welfare needs.
The survey also shows 15% of pet owners are not registered with any veterinary practice, while those who feel more informed are significantly more likely to provide preventive health care.
Organisations involved in the campaign are the BVA, the BVNA, Blue Cross, the BSAVA, the British Veterinary Zoological Society, PDSA and the RSPCA – the seven members of the veterinary animal welfare coalition, which was developed from the BVA/RCVS Vet Futures Action Plan.
The advance findings have been released today (7 November) to mark tomorrow’s 10th anniversary of the Animal Welfare Acts.
BVA president Gudrun Ravetz said: “It’s concerning, despite many veterinary practices’ best efforts, public awareness of the five welfare needs remains consistently low.
“There are so many strong voices for animal welfare, which is why it’s great so many veterinary organisations are coming together in this coalition to highlight pet owners’ legal duty of care. We hope practices across the country will join us in spreading the message by continuing to deliver the welfare need-focused advice to clients they already do.”
RSPCA CVO James Yeates, who chairs the coalition, said: “The five welfare needs are a fantastic ‘umbrella’ guide to taking care of our pets, yet each and every species has such differing welfare needs it’s vital pet owners can translate theory into practice.
“Our understanding of animal welfare science has come such a long way over the past 50 years, so we’d like pet owners to visit their local veterinary practice where they will be able to get tailored, up-to-date advice for their pets.”
- The coalition has made information available for practices to support client conversations on the five welfare needs.