Driving evidence-based improvements for the UK’s “Stressed. Lonely. Overweight. Bored. Aggressive. Misunderstood…but loved” companion animals

Wensley, Sean, Betton, Vicki, Gosschalk, Kate, Hooker, Richard, Main, David, Martin, Nicola and Tipton, Emma (2020) Driving evidence-based improvements for the UK’s “Stressed. Lonely. Overweight. Bored. Aggressive. Misunderstood…but loved” companion animals. Veterinary Record. ISSN 0042-4900 (In Press)

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Abstract

Background The Five Welfare Needs in UK animal welfare legislation underpin a legal duty of care and are an animal welfare assessment framework. Health and welfare problems arise when these needs are unmet. The veterinary professions work with others to address these problems, but there is no publicly-funded UK companion animal welfare surveillance to identify priorities, or promote and monitor change. Methods The veterinary charity, the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), together with the market research organisation, YouGov, has undertaken a longitudinal nationwide survey, assessing whether the UK’s pet dogs, cats and rabbits are having their Five Welfare Needs met. Data from nationally representative samples of pet-owning adults, drawn from YouGov’s online survey panel, have been used to produce the PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report annually since 2011. Results Examples are given of how the PAW Report has been used to monitor trends in animal welfare problems, drive collaborative behaviour change campaigns, create evidence-based funding applications and inspire innovation in veterinary practice. Conclusion The PAW Report has contributed to closing a gap in national companion animal welfare surveillance. When governments rely on non-governmental organisations to assist with animal welfare surveillance, reliable sources such as the PAW Report can inform research, policy and legislation.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Agriculture, Food and Environment
Depositing User: Professor David Main
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2020 14:52
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2020 14:52
URI: http://rau.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/16427

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