A worrying trend which has seen vaccination figures for children decrease across many parts of the Western world is not replicated in Scotland.
Uptake rates remain high in Scotland; over 95% of children had received each routine immunisation by the time they were 12 months of age, apart from rotavirus vaccine, which had 93.5% uptake.National Statistics
The same is not true for our family pets.
Latest findings from leading vet charity PDSA reveal a record decline in the number of young pets receiving their vaccinations, leaving many of Scotland’s pet population unprotected and exposed to potentially fatal diseases.
The 2019 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report, the largest report of its kind, found the number of UK pets receiving their primary vaccinations when young – which protect pets from deadly diseases and viruses – has dropped dramatically from 84% in 2016 to 66% in 2019, an 18 percentage point decrease in just three years. This could leave over 7 million pets unprotected.
Findings from the 2019 PAW Report also show that one third (32%) of UK pets aren’t receiving regular booster vaccines, which keep them protected from potentially fatal diseases.
Reasons given by owners were that it was:
- too expensive
- too stressful for their pet
- it was unnecessary
- their pet did not come into contact with other animals
Sean Wensley,PDSA Senior Vet, said:
“It’s extremely worrying to see such a decline in the number of young pets receiving their primary vaccinations.
“Vaccinations have helped to protect millions of pets from serious diseases such as parvovirus, cat flu and Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease. If people don’t vaccinate we risk seeing a rise in extremely unpleasant, preventable, diseases that can cause considerable animal suffering and death.”
The PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report has monitored pet welfare issues across the UK for the last nine years, surveying over 73,500 people in this time. Produced in conjunction with YouGov, the PAW Report provides a robust insight into the lives of pet dogs, cats and rabbits across the UK. Key findings from the 2019 PDSA PAW Report:
- More Scottish owners (80%) had heard of the Animal Welfare Acts than the UK average (74%)
- Scottish dogs get more daily walks – just 5% have one walk or less daily, compared to the UK average (12%)
- 18 percentage point drop in proportion of UK pets who’ve received a primary vaccination course when young over the last three years
- 3 in 4 UK pet owners don’t realise the true cost of keeping a pet
- 2 in 10 UK dogs left home alone for too long
- Half of all UK pet rabbits live in ‘solitary confinement’with no other rabbits for company
- 99,000 UK dogs (1%) never get walked
PDSA is calling for owners to complete their online quiz to share their thoughts on the health and happiness of their own much-loved pets. There’s also a chance to win a hamper worth £200! Click on this link to enter: My Pet Survey