Source: Pet insurance should be compulsory to reduce animal suffering, MSPs told | Scotland | News | STV
STV | 24 November 2015 15:09 GMT
Compulsory pet insurance would take pressure away from charities and reduce animal suffering, a campaign has claimed.
Members of the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee heard on Tuesday that pet insurance should be mandatory for dog and cat owners.
Petitioner Karen Harvey claimed animals often miss out on treatment when owners are faced with expensive veterinary costs they cannot afford.
Bills can often run to thousands of pounds in one go and as a result, some animals end up being given up by their owners, Harvey claimed.
Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw said rough calculations suggest the scheme could cost 800m a year in Scotland and 8bn annually across the UK.
Harvey lodged the petition in September “calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to make pet insurance compulsory by law”.
She told a meeting of the committee: “There is no NHS for pets and our pets are very often lifesavers. They are certainly the best companions in the world, giving us unconditional love and loyalty. Do we not owe it to them to give them the same when they need it in return?”
Ms Harvey told MSPs an estimated 46% of UK households have pets, including about nine million dogs and seven million cats, yet only 15% of these actually have insurance.
She pointed to figures suggesting that treating a dog for cataracts can cost 1700 while cancer treatments can hit 8000.
A 2012 survey found that in that year alone 320,000 cats and dogs in the UK which could have been nursed back to health were put to sleep prematurely, she told MSPs…. [Read the full article]