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Calls for Support for Older People with Pets

31 March 2015

UK - The National Office for Animal Health (NOAH) has called for changes in the law so that 140,000 older people every year are not forced to give up their pet when they enter supported accommodation.

The move comes as part of NOAH’s manifesto for every parliamentary candidate in the forthcoming general election.

Dawn Howard, chief executive, NOAH, said: “In everything we and our members do at NOAH we aim to improve the lives of animals through encouraging responsible farming and pet ownership and promoting the safe and responsible use of medicines.

“The new regulations making their way through the European decision-making process aim to improve the availability of animal medicines.

“We support this aim and look forward to working with our newly appointed MPs to help make this a reality.

“There are many myths about medicines used in animals destined for the food chain, and it’s important that our politicians are aware of the facts, so that, if questioned, they can help set the record straight. But more importantly, we are happy to help them understand sometimes complex issues so that they can hold future governments to account and ensure decisions are based on evidence, not myths.

“It is a travesty that 140,000 older people every year have to say goodbye to their cherished pets when they enter supported accommodation. Many of those pets are put down. There is so much evidence to suggest that having a pet is of real benefit to the health and wellbeing of older people that this really doesn’t make any sense. We want parity with other countries, where people’s pets are protected by law and they can take them with them.

“All of our animals – whether pets or farm animals – have a right to the most appropriate treatment if they become sick, to reduce their suffering, to protect their health and welfare and to ensure they can continue to provide companionship or produce safe, nutritious food. This manifesto aims to raise awareness of the issues and encourage support among our future Members of Parliament.”

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