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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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Nominations open for Blue Cross Medal 2019

News Story 1
 Animal lovers are being urged to nominate their pet heroes for the Blue Cross Medal 2019.

Celebrating inspirational pets for almost 80 years, the Award is open to pets that have done something brave, life-changing partnerships, assistance animals and serving or working animals.

To find out more about the awards and to nominate a pet, visit The closing date for entries is 15 February 2019.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Northampton graduate wins industry award

A graphic communications graduate from the University of Northampton has won an industry award for her campaign to persuade people to choose a rescue dog over a puppy.

Taylar Wong received a YCN Student Award for her concept, which likened a rescue dogs stay at the Dogs Trust to a time at University. Injecting some fun into the adoption process, Taylor produced images of cute dogs wearing mortarboards for use on social media and physical advertising.