Closed petition Record and publish numbers of companion animals euthanised in England
Currently there is no accurate data on companion animal euthanasia. We want requirements for veterinarians, rescue organisations and pounds to record and report details on companion animal euthanasia including why, where, gender, breed, age, and breeder information.
This should then be published by the Government.
Government responses to previous petitions have failed to acknowledge that this data is needed.
A large number of companion animals are at risk of euthanasia and/or euthanised due to economic restraints, behaviour issues, lack of rescue spaces and treatable health conditions
Mandatory recording requirements would provide information that can be used to put in place measures to help reduce future risks of euthanasia and provide data leading to awareness and action on areas of concern to the public, such as abandonment, bites and behaviour.
Change does not happen without evidence.
This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months
This response was given on 21 December 2023
We are not planning to impose new euthanasia reporting requirements on veterinarians, rescue organisations and kennels.
As outlined in previous responses to similar petitions on this issue, making a decision to euthanise an animal is often a complex, emotional and challenging decision, particularly when that animal is a much-loved family pet. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 ensures there are safeguards in place to protect the welfare of animals, including those being euthanised.
Advice about euthanasia is laid out in the guidance underpinning the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Surgeons, which all veterinary surgeons practising in the UK must adhere to. We have not seen evidence that veterinary surgeons are not adhering to the Code in respect of carrying out euthanasia.
Euthanasia is an important means to help protect animal welfare by being able to relieve suffering. Whilst this is the primary reason for euthanasia, a veterinary surgeon must also take account of the owners’ wishes and other circumstances.
A reporting requirement carries a considerable resource burden on the sector. We regularly meet with stakeholders to understand issues and trends that affect the companion animal sector. We will continue to do so and remain of the view that the case for a new reporting requirement as called for in this petition has not been established.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs