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Animal Welfare
PDSA assesses ‘the true state of our pet nation’

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‘THE most accurate and comprehensive picture of animal health and wellbeing ever produced in the UK.’ That is how the PDSA describes a report it has produced discussing the results of a survey of companion animal wellbeing.

The purpose of the report, which was published on March 2, is to introduce what the charity hopes will become an annual index or score reflecting the wellbeing of pets kept in the UK. It describes the results of a survey conducted in conjunction with the market research organisation YouGov. Over 11,200 people took part in the survey in the latter part of 2010, including pet owners and veterinary professionals. The report considers dogs, cats and rabbits, as these are the most popular companion animals in the UK, although the PDSA hopes to expand the survey to consider other pets in the future.

The report is structured around the five welfare needs that are set out in the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Respondents were asked about each of the five needs – for a suitable environment, diet, behaviour, companionship and health – in relation to their pet and their level of knowledge in each area. An index score out of 100 was calculated to represent how well UK pet owners met each of the …

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