RSPCA in the UK Says Vegan Cat Food Is Cruelty Under the Animal Welfare Act

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PetMD Editorial
Published: November 28, 2018

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At the National Pet Show in Birmingham, England in November, there was a showcase of the latest in vegan pet food and non-meat alternatives. In response to this showcase, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) spoke out about vegan cat food and dog food diets, providing their stance on the new vegan pet food trend.

While they say that dogs are omnivores and can, in theory, survive on a vegetarian diet, they are very strongly against vegetarian and vegan cat food. According to The Telegraph, the RSPCA says that cats are obligate carnivores and need meat to survive and thrive.

The Telegraph reports that a spokesperson for the organization said, “Under the Animal Welfare Act, the law requires an owner to take reasonable steps to ensure that all the pet's needs are met.  This includes a healthy diet, as well as providing suitable living conditions, ability to behave normally, appropriate company and protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease.”

Since cats require meat and the nutrients it provides to live a healthy life, forcing them to into a non-meat diet can cause serious health complications. According to The Telegraph, the RSPCA explains, “Cats are strict carnivores and depend on some very specific nutrients that are found in meat including taurine, vitamin A and arachidonic acid so can become seriously ill if they are fed a vegetarian or vegan diet.”

According to The Telegraph, the RSPCA says that if a pet parent allows their cat’s health to decline and allows the cat to become malnourished due to an incomplete diet, they could face hefty fines or even a jail sentence under the Animal Welfare Act.

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