Vet: Hi there Dave. What seems to be the problem with CoCo?
Dave: Recently she hasn’t been herself. She seems lethargic, and has lost her appetite.
Vet: Ok. Put her on the table and let me have a look at her. (inspecting Coco) How long has she been like this?
Dave: About a week.
Vet: Hmm. My guess is that she just has a virus. There is a bug going around.
Dave: Oh. Have you seen other dogs with similar symptoms recently?
Vet: A few. I’ll take a blood test, just to be sure. If it is just a virus, I’ll give you some medicine for her and she should be back to her usual self soon enough.
Vet: Hi Ms. Jones. How are you?
Emili: I’m OK.
Vet: And who is this little fellow?
Emili: This is Kit.
Vet: Pleased to meet you Kit. So, Ms. Jones, what seems to be the matter with her?
Emili: Well, she has a scab on the back of her neck that won’t heal, and she won’t stop scratching it.
Vet: Yes, I see. Any idea how she got it?
Emili: She doesn’t have fleas, so I was thinking maybe a tick.
Vet: I don’t see anything there now. OK, we’ll clean this up a little, then I’m afraid she’ll need to wear a cone for a while. And if you are worried about fleas, you should get her a collar. We sell them at reception.
Emili: How long will she need the cone?
Vet: I’d say bring her back in a week and we’ll see how she is doing.
The UK, it is said, is a nation of animal lovers, with a particular fondness for cats and dogs (‘man’s best friend’), although all manner of animals are kept as pets, from tropical fish to poisonous spiders. With this in mind, and because animal welfare is viewed as very important in the UK, numerous regulations are in place in the country to ensure animals enjoy their lives, and that people and animals can happily co-exist.
The most obvious rule for keeping animals in the UK is that animal cruelty is a crime that can lead to jail time; however, there are plenty of other legal issues, including strict quarantine to try keep Britain clear of diseases that can be found more commonly on the European mainland (such as rabies). The trafficking of endangered species is illegal, as are over 70 ‘invasive species’ of plants and animals that threaten indigenous animals.
There is some confusion, however, about dangerous dogs. As of 2012, four ‘types’ of dangerous dogs are banned in the UK, but each ‘type’ actually involves more than one breed (for example: ‘pit bull’ type dogs are banned, which includes several different breeds) and dogs can also be labeled ‘dangerous’ depending on how big they are. The different countries in the UK also generally have different rules: in Northern Ireland, for example, one must have a dog licence, but this is not the case in other countries. Whilst having a dog dangerously loose in a public place is a crime across the whole UK, there is, as yet, no protection for workers (such as postal workers) who have to enter private property to do their jobs.
*More information on keeping dangerous dogs in the UK can be found at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/dangerous/