Animal Education

In a study this week from Bristol University ‘Are we really a nation of animal lovers?’ it is estimated that over 260,000 cats and dogs entered the care of UK rescue organisations during 2009, the first full year since the onset of the UK recession. The study highlights the considerable size of the rescue cat and dog populations and the need for further investment in areas such as improving neutering rates, decreasing behavioural problems (in dogs in particular), and better education of potential pet owners about responsible ownership and the long-term commitment that is needed. On an encouraging note David Cavill writes in his blog ‘Caring for animals’ education in schools’ about a project being supported by seventeen pet related charitable and trade organisations and which is funded largely by one of them – the Pet Food Manufacturers Association. They have come together to form the Animal Welfare Education Alliance David says ‘I therefore urge you to write to your MP supporting this group and asking that animal care education be incorporated into the national curriculum.  We know that MPs are bombarded with circular letters and e-mails which have been generated by small groups.  It is clear where they have come from and they are usually treated as the ‘spam’ that they are.  But this means that an individual letter from a constituent in their own words, carries considerably more weight. So please do not hesitate to put pen to paper or digit to keyboard.  The long-term effects on the care of pet animals in the UK could be significantly improved if this initiative goes through.’

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