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Brachycephalic cats taking longer to rehome, RSPCA says
A breeder may not make new owners aware of brachycephalic health issues in an effort to improve their chance of a sale.
The rescue charity believes severe health problems cause them to be overlooked.

The RSPCA has reported that flat-faced cats are spending longer in their care than other cats, potentially due to their associated health problems.

This includes some breeds of brachycephalic cat waiting over twice as long as non-brachycephalic breeds for a suitable home, with Persian cats taking an average of 68 days to be rehomed.

Other flat-faced breeds that are following this trend include British shorthairs and Birmans, which wait 46 and 40 days to be rehomed respectively. These figures contrast with the rehoming rate of domestic shorthair and domestic semi long-haired cats, which take an average of 29 and 27 days respectively.

The RSPCA believes that this could be due to differing awareness of the health problems associated with brachycephalic breeds.

In order to responsibly rehome these cats, the rescue charity is transparent about their health problems on their adoption website. This includes informing potential owners of the cats’ breathing difficulties, eye and dental problems, and issues with sleep and grooming themselves.

However a breeder may not make new owners aware of these issues, in an effort to improve their chances of a sale.

The RSPCA believes that this could explain why so many flat-faced cats are being surrendered, but far fewer are being adopted.

These statistics have been released as part of the charity’s ‘Save Our Breath’ campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the difficulties that flat-faced cats deal with. As breeders continue to sell these breeds, the RSPCA receives more surrendered cats from owners who cannot afford the treatments associated with the breeds.

The RSPCA is asking that breeders consider the welfare of these cats, rather than breeding them for traits which are harmful to their health.

Alice Potter, a cat welfare expert at RSPCA, said: “Someone who impulse buys a kitten online because they thought their ‘flat-faced’ features are ‘cute’ is far less likely to be given information on the issues because the seller simply wants to make a profit with some kittens being sold for over £1,000 online, or they may not even know themselves.

“This means they are still increasingly popular pets and more are being bred to meet this demand – but the challenging reality of caring for them can mean they end up in rescue centres where they are sadly then often overlooked for adoption.”

RSPCA is encouraging people to write to their local MP on the issue. Their pre-written letter can be found on the Save Our Breath page.

Image © Shutterstock

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VMG president joins House of Lords

News Story 1
 Miles Russell, president of the Veterinary Management Group (VMG), has been elected to the House of Lords as a crossbench hereditary peer.

He will join Lord Trees as a representative of the veterinary sector in the second chamber of the UK parliament.

Lord Russell said: "Those of us working in the animal health and veterinary sectors are only too aware of the importance of the work we do and the challenges we face.

"I will use my platform in the House of Lords to increase understanding of our sectors and to promote positive change." 

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News Shorts
Sixth case of bluetongue confirmed

A sixth case of bluetongue virus serotype 3 has been confirmed in the UK.

The case was detected in an animal on a premises linked to one of the farms within the Temporary Control Zone (TCZ) currently in place near Canterbury, Kent.

In response, the Animal and Plant Health Agency has extended the TCZ. Investigations into the spread of the disease are ongoing.

The cases in Kent come at a time when a new strain of the virus has spread rapidly across farms in the Netherlands. Both the Government and the British Veterinary Association have urged livestock keepers to remain vigilant.

Bluetongue is a notifiable disease and suspected cases must be reported immediately on 03000 200 301 in England or 03003 038 268 in Wales. In Scotland, possible cases should be reported to the local field services office.