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Animal welfare
UK pets ‘heading for animal welfare disaster’

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BEHAVIOURAL issues and obesity ‘are fuelling a pet welfare crisis in Britain’, according to the charity PDSA and, it says, the ‘UK pet nation is heading for animal welfare disaster’.

The charity made the remarks on publishing the 2014 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) report, which suggested that 250,000 dogs may be showing aggressive behaviour towards people every week and that 80 per cent of veterinary professionals predict that there will be more fat pets than healthy weight pets in five years' time.

For this year's PAW report, which is the fourth to be complied by the charity, 1069 pet owners and 572 veterinary professionals were surveyed by the market research organisation YouGov. For the first time, the survey included veterinary and veterinary nursing students. The survey was carried out online and the responses weighted to be representative of the cat, dog and rabbit owners in the UK.

The report focuses on four key issues – diet, behaviour, preventative care and pet ownership.

Diet and obesity

On the issue of diet and pet obesity, the survey suggested that 81 per cent of the veterinary professionals responding had seen an increase in levels of pet obesity over the past two years. Of the pet owners responding, 89 per cent said …

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