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Companion animals
Pet wellbeing report reveals lack of awareness of animals’ needs

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AWARENESS of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 among pet owners is ‘at an all time low’, according to findings in the 2013 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) report.

Published each year since 2011, the PAW report aims to provide an annual insight into pet health and wellbeing. This year's report is based on the responses given by 2149 pet owners, 555 children and 459 vets and veterinary nurses who were surveyed by YouGov, the market research organisation, on behalf of the PDSA.

The 2013 report revisits the welfare needs of dogs, cats and rabbits that were initially assessed in 2011 to see if anything has changed. The survey also investigated some newer issues that the PDSA believes threaten pet welfare, such as the sale of pets online, and sought public opinion on initiatives such as compulsory microchipping for dogs. Writing in a foreword to the report, Richard Hooker, the charity's director of veterinary services, says that the results show that there is still much work to be done to improve levels of pet wellbeing.

‘It has been nearly seven years since the Animal Welfare Act 2006 came into force in England and Wales and owner awareness of how to provide for their pets’ welfare is still worryingly low,’ says Mr Hooker. ‘So many problems that are seen by animal welfare organisations across the UK are entirely preventable. People continue to make misinformed choices at every stage of their …

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