The SHG response the EIG Consultation

Our first observation is that if the EIG wishes to consult the animal owning public then the way to do so is to ensure that the letter of consultation is delivered to every home in the UK and to advertise in the newspapers and on television so that no-one can miss it.

The vast majority of people in this country are working increasingly long hours in order to survive and do not have time to trawl government web sites each day to check if yet another regulatory organisation has been created to remove even more of their remaining rights and freedoms.

We were appalled to discover the existence of the EIG, an organisation with a non-elected committee, discussing and planning how people are to be permitted to keep and work with their animals. We were even more appalled when we discovered that the EIG Committee had been discussing the licensing or registering of every home that keeps an animal.

Such a move will do nothing to improve animal welfare. All it will do is discourage people from keeping or working with animals. Surely this can not be an aim of the EIG?

If the Government or the EIG genuinely wish to improve animal health and welfare as opposed to registering, regulating and controlling animals and their owners, the most obvious means would be to put in place an animal NHS, initially for pensioners and their animals and later covering any animal owner on low income. It should also provide for those animals which are strays or wildlife.

It is wrong that in one of the world's wealthiest nations, one whose people are renowned for being animal lovers, people on low incomes are faced with the stark choice of having to let a vet kill their animal because they do not have the money to pay for treatment.. How many of us could afford to pay for our own medical treatment?

A cost/benefit analysis might well find that providing free veterinary treatment would encourage people to take their animals to a vet, having removed the fear of being reported to the RSPCA for failing to purchase expensive treatments that they have no means of affording. This would have a far more beneficial effect on overall animal health and welfare than any regulatory regime.

Furthermore, if the animal owning public are to understand and support government wishes to impose higher standards of animal health and welfare then government must not be seen to be undermining the process by creating situations in which both the introduction and spread of disease are inevitable.

This means that the second thing the EIG can do, if it wishes to reduce the likelihood of exotic disease outbreaks, is to advise the Government to re-instate our borders and customs checks, and to end the pet travel schemes. Otherwise it is merely a matter of time before we have an outbreak of rabies or some other imported disease, and then we shall see the reason for pet registration as Britain's pets are slaughtered in their tens of thousands.

Yours sincerely



Anne Kasica


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