The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) has warned that companion animal health, and consequently welfare, could suffer in the longer term due to the COVID-19 crisis unless steps are taken.
In its new report, COVID-19 and Companion Animal Health & Welfare: Impact and Considerations for the UK, NOAH looks at the impact of COVID-19 on the availability of veterinary services and the impact this could have on companion animal health and welfare, and suggests actions required to mitigate.
NOAH chief executive Dawn Howard said: “Even as lockdown measures have started to be eased, the COVID-19 crisis still continues to have an impact on how companion animal veterinary care can take place. It has brought into sharp focus the need to support responsible pet ownership by helping to enable safe access to veterinary services and the need to continue to monitor any impact on animal health and welfare.
“We are calling on the animal health community to work together to raise awareness: to help pet owners more fully understand their pets’ needs and to support them and the veterinary profession in addressing them safely at this challenging time.”
Ms Howard added: “We believe there is also a Governmental responsibility to act, with the need for a Government minister to have responsibility for both pet health and welfare.”