Source: RepublicWorld (Extract)
Posted: October 20, 2021

Pet owners in the United Kingdom have been warned against putting their dogs on a vegetarian diet or else they could face a jail sentence and fine.

Humans have been more choosy with their diets in recent years, typically motivated by a desire to lessen their carbon footprint and avoid consuming animal products. However, pushing pets to do so could have adverse repercussions. Noting this, pet owners in the United Kingdom have been warned against putting their dogs on a vegetarian diet or else they could face a jail sentence and fine up to £20,000, according to a report by The Sun. According to the Animal Welfare Act of 2006, one must give their dog an “appropriate diet,” failing to do that will land the pet owner in jail. 

The Blue Cross, a registered animal welfare charity in the UK, explains all of the laws that apply to dog owners in the country, demonstrating that all pet owners have a legal responsibility to cater for their welfare requirements. according to section nine of the Animal Welfare Act, all domestic animals have the legal right to exist in appropriate habitat, eat a suitable diet, exhibit normal behaviour patterns, be kept with or separate from other animals, and be protected from pain, suffering, damage, and sickness. Although vegan or vegetarian diets are not mentioned in the recommendations for a nutritious diet for dogs, any diet, from wet food or raw food to dry kibble, should meet all of the nutritional requirements, reported The Sun.

Daniella Dos Santos, president of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), stated that in the UK, the owner is required to offer pets suitable diets under the Animal Welfare Act. “It’s perfectly fine if someone doesn’t want to consume animal protein due to their personal belief, but same should not adhere to pets and their diets must meet the welfare standards,” she was quoted as saying by the British daily. She further added that it is theoretically feasible to feed a vegetarian diet to a dog, but getting it wrong is much easier than doing it correctly as it needs the supervision of a veterinary-trained nutritionist. A deficiency of protein in a dog’s diet can cause major health concerns, such as amino acid imbalances and vitamin or mineral deficits, she added.

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