The Charity Commission has backed PDSA on a decision that would allow it to offer paid-for services.

Commission backs plans for PDSA to expand its remit.

There had been objections to a scheme that would allow PDSA to amend its objects that state PDSA exists to provide “free medical or surgical treatment to animals belonging to persons who appear to the society to be unable to afford the services of a veterinary surgeon”.

However, the changes would allow the provision of treatment “whether at free, at a reduced charge, or at full charge”.

Other objects PDSA plans to have added are “the education of the public in matters concerning animal health and welfare in general” and “the advancement of animal welfare for the public benefit by any other means”.

Amendments to the objects also include the “power of investment and the provisions regarding auditing of accounts”.

The Charity Commission’s review panel noted changes would affect the private veterinary sector, but these were not considered significant. It concluded the proposed changes “would enable the charity to further its purposes more effectively”.

A spokesman for PDSA said: “Our core activity will remain the provision of free veterinary treatment for pets belonging to owners who cannot afford the services of a private veterinary surgeon.

“However, we want to do more to educate owners on pet well-being and so decrease the level of preventable diseases treated every single day in our pet hospitals.

“By expanding our charitable objects, we will be able to communicate our pet health messages to a much wider audience and thereby deliver a greater public benefit in terms of the advancement of animal welfare, as well as the relief of poverty.

“With expanded charitable objects, PDSA will seek to extend the delivery of its charitable benefits beyond its current eligible client group, providing a concessionary (reduced) charged-for veterinary service to additional segments of the pet-owning public, through its existing UK network of 51 pet hospitals.”

The review panel agreed the draft scheme should be made and submitted to the minister for civil society to be laid before Parliament, and to be instated by order of the minister.

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