August 18, 2023

Animal Welfare in the UK

Cat and dog in front of Big Ben

The UK has always been known for strong animal welfare standards — it is, after all, the birthplace of the Five Freedoms, and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been a frequent stop in a lot of the OHS’s research.

My good opinion was reinforced this week when I met with the famous Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London while on vacation (who says business and pleasure can’t mix?). We talked about each of our upcoming strategic plans, and I was excited to learn that Battersea, like the OHS, sees the need to take more proactive steps against issues that force people to give up their pets. They, like the OHS, are struggling with serious behaviour challenges in their canine population, and they are seeing more pet owners struggling with costs. We also shared our concerns about the increasing irresponsible rehoming of pets online — where pets and owners are, too often, set up for failure.

Meeting with like-minded organizations is an incredible opportunity, and my visit to Battersea was inspiring. Bouncing ideas around with each other, even for a couple of hours, gave each of us new perspectives and led to a list of “will send” items, to help each other as we grow.

Are we on the same page about everything? No, and we don’t need to be. But the humane movement, internationally, is exceptional in its willingness to share information and practices, which will help us learn, grow and improve our practices in a way that meets the needs of pets and owners in our own communities.

Sharon Miko
President & CEO