Dogs and cats: vegan diet soon banned in the UK?
Vegan diet for dogs and cats: in the UK this diet could be covered by the prohibitions of the Animal Welfare Act, that’s why.
In recent years we have heard more and more about the vegan diet for dogs and cats, with the appearance of a lot of information online, especially on social networks. Given the growing curiosity of pet owners, many veterinarians worldwide have stepped in to demand the utmost attention, because a diet without animal ingredients could cause serious health problems for four-legged friends. However, the issue becomes more serious in the UK, where this diet could soon become illegal, at least indirectly.
This is underlined by the Telegraph, which is prepared to report on a recent opinion from the RSPCA on the management of dogs and cats, regarding the adoption of the latest legislation on their welfare. Within the Animal Welfare Act, in fact, owners are required to do everything possible to ensure maximum health for their animals, a fact which would indirectly include feeding:
Within the Animal Welfare Act, the law requires the owner to take all reasonable steps to ensure that all the animal’s needs are met. This includes a healthy diet, thus providing suitable living conditions, the ability to behave normally, appropriate companionship and protection from pain, accidents and disease.
The RSPCA has raised the alarm, especially for cats, not least because of the recent increase in demand in the UK for food products without ingredients of animal origin. As the organisation specifies, felines are carnivorous specimens and some of the nutrients in the meat are essential for their welfare, so that absence in the diet can be fatal in the most serious cases.
Cats are strictly carnivorous and depend on some specific nutrients available in the meat, such as taurine, vitamin A and arachidonic acid: they can get seriously ill if they are fed a vegetarian or vegan diet.
For this reason, the RSPCA considers that a diet unsuitable for the welfare of the domestic specimen may fall within the offences punishable under British law and, last but not least, suggests that the practice should be explicitly prohibited. In any case, it is good to remember that the diet of your four-legged friend must always be agreed with the vet so that all the essential nutrients that the quadruped needs can be guaranteed.