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Millions of pets facing an unhappy life - report
More than two million dogs are left alone for five hours or more on a typical weekday.

1.4 million dogs walked less than once a day

The third Monday of every January is named “Blue Monday” - the most depressing day of the year owing to cold weather, dark-nights and a lack of post-Christmas cash.

But new figures taken from the latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report show that millions of pets across the UK are not just facing a ’Blue Monday’ - they’re facing an unhappy life.

Conducted with the BVA and the BVNA, the PAW report 2018 surveyed more than 900 veterinary surgeons and nurses across the UK. It reveals that many pets are suffering from chronic stress, loneliness and obesity and that many owners are failing to meet their pet’s welfare needs.

The latest figures reveal that more than two million dogs are left alone for five hours or more on a typical weekday, while 1.4 million dogs are walked less than once per day. Perhaps even more concerning, the report shows that 89,000 dogs are not walked at all.

“Pets face another year of long hours spent home alone, with too little exercise,” explained PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan. “As our busy routines resume after the festive break, we know that millions of dogs will be left for longer than the recommended four hours, leaving them mentally unstimulated and bored.

“It’s no surprise that problem behaviour can develop if left home alone for so long,” she continued. “Too much time indoors without enough exercise leads to health problems on a much larger scale, such as obesity”.

The figures also show that 4.8 million cats in the UK are living in a multi-cat household, while 2.1 million are living alongside a cat or cats they don’t get along with.

“Cats are naturally solitary creatures and, for many, living with other cats can be a source of chronic stress and lead to the onset of problems such as cat fights and behavioural issues like house soiling,” Olivia continued.

By contrast, a staggering 540,000 rabbits, who need a companion to be happy and healthy, were found to live alone. Some 28 per cent of rabbit owners (280,000 rabbits) also revealed that their rabbit lives in inadequate housing. 

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Endangered turtles rescued from smugglers

News Story 1
 A group of endangered turtles have found a new home at London Zoo after being rescued from smugglers.

The four big-headed turtles arrived at the zoo at the end of last year, after smugglers tried to illegally import them to Canada, labelled as toys.

One of the turtles, named Lady Triệu after a Vietnamese warrioress, has moved to a new exhibit in the zoo’s reptile house. She is the only one of her kind in a UK zoo.

Big-headed turtles have such large heads that they cannot pull them back into their shells. To compensate, they have armour plating from head to tail and a very sharp beak to fend off predators. They are ranked number 18 on ZSL’s EDGE of Existence reptile list, which puts threatened species at the forefront of conservation action. Image © ZSL  

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RCVS Fellowship board chair elections get underway

Voting for the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Chair election is now underway. This year four candidates are standing for election, including Dr Robert Huey, Professor John Innes, Professor Liz Mossop and Professor Ian Ramsey.

The Chair will attend and preside over Fellowship meetings and take the lead in consolidating the Fellowship’s position as the learned society of the RCVS. Fellows will receive an email containing a link to the online voting form, as well as candidates’ details and manifestos. Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday, 5 September.