Wooferendum Dog March highlights Brexit danger to pets

PUBLISHED: 16:43 04 October 2018

A dog is carried by a pro-EU protester taking part in a March for Europe rally against Brexit in central London. Picture: PA

A dog is carried by a pro-EU protester taking part in a March for Europe rally against Brexit in central London. Picture: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

The collapse of the EU pet passport scheme and the end to free movement of workers would be a “disaster” for the United Kingdom’s 54 million pets, say the organisers of a new event.

The collapse of the EU pet passport scheme and the end to free movement of workers would be a “disaster” for the UK’s 54 million pets, say the organisers of a new event.

The people behind the Wooferendum Dog March have claimed around half the vets starting work in the UK each year come from the EU, with those workers making up a quarter of the total number of vets in the country.

The also there could be adverse consequences for pet food manufacturers with many reliant on having access to the EU single market and customs union.

The march on Westminster, due to take place on Sunday, October 7, is also highlighting the possible suspension of the EU Pet Passport scheme which allows more than 250,000 animals to travel overseas with their owners.

Dominic Dyer, a leading animal welfare campaigner and one of the organisers of the event, said: “We know Brexit will be disastrous for the people of Britain but it could also be equally bad for our pets.

“From a shortage of skilled vets and vet nurses, to rising costs for animal health and pet food products and even the end of the EU pet passport scheme, Brexit will be disastrous for the nations dogs and cats and other companion animals.

“If Brexit causes another recession on the scale of the financial crash of 2008, we can expect to see plunging living standards, forcing many people to give up their pets, leaving charities and shelters struggling to cope with the influx of animals in need of new homes.”

As well as the threat to pets, Dyer also warns that restrictions on free movement could have an impact on animal welfare and animal health.

He says 90% of all vets who work in abattoirs in a public health role come from other EU member states.

Meanwhile a recent report from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons found Brexit could result in a major barrier to qualified vets from the EU working in Britain and a no-deal Brexit could also result in 40% of animal health products, including vaccines, painkillers, antibiotics and wormers having potential availability issues.

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