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Vets call for exotic pet labelling scheme
The proposed labelling scheme would require pet sellers to show how challenging exotic animals are to keep.
Study highlights growing problem of unwanted animals

Vets are calling for a pet labelling scheme to help consumers make informed decisions about the types of animals they buy.

Writing in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour, researchers highlight the growing problem of unwanted exotic pets and their mis-selling as “easy to keep” or “beginner animals”. They conclude that animal welfare has endured 'decades of suffering' as a result of the exotic pet trade being 'significantly out of reasonable control'.

“Efforts, after pet acquisition, to educate sellers and keepers to improve animal welfare and public health issues have proven unproductive,” the authors write. “We propose that a system is required that facilitates decision-making at the interface between sale and purchase sectors and that uses clear evidence-based labeling.”

The proposed labelling scheme would require pet sellers to show how challenging exotic animals are to keep by categorising them as either ‘easy, ‘moderate’, ‘difficult’ or ‘extreme’. The label would also include important public health notices, as many exotic animals carry diseases that are transmissible to humans.

Welcoming the news, the Animal Protection Agency (APA) said the scheme is much needed to ensure people don’t take on difficult or demanding pets.

"It may seem distasteful to call for labels for living, feeling animals but the problem is that they are already priced-up, packaged, marketed and often mis-labelled as ‘easy to keep' or ‘suitable for beginners’,” said Elaine Toland, director of the APA.

“This innovative scheme, based on sound, scientific information by an international group of experts, is a straightforward way of addressing irresponsible trade practices and protecting animals as well as consumers."


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ZSL London Zoo shares animal X-rays

News Story 1
 A selection of X-ray images showing the inner workings of frogs, turtles, snakes and geckos have been shared by veterinary surgeons at ZSL London Zoo.

Taken as part of a routine health check, the images have been shared as part of ‘Vets in Action’ week - a hand’s on role-playing experience for children that explores the life of a zoo vet.

ZSL London Zoo veterinary nurse Heather Mackintosh said: “It’s great to be able to share the work that goes on behind the scenes at the Zoo to keep our residents in tip-top condition – and our visitors are always amazed to find out more about their favourite animals.” 

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Vets in developing nations given free access to BSAVA’s online library

BSAVA has teamed up with the WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to offer vets in developing nations free access to its online library.

The Association’s ‘Foundation Collection’ is comprised of more than 70 hours of articles, lectures and book chapters covering topics such as basic handling skills, working on a budget and emergency triage. Some of the countries set to benefit include Albania, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania.

Nicolette Hayward, of BSAVA International Affairs Committee said: “Our mission is to promote excellence in small animal practice through education and science, so we are delighted to work with WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to share these high-quality resources to the veterinary profession in low and middle-income countries.”