Pet owners in the UK risk being fined RM114,000 and jailed if they feed their dogs vegetarian food

Pet owners in the UK risked getting fined and jailed if they put their dogs on a vegetarian diet. — AFP pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — Pet owners in the United Kingdom face fines of up to £20,000 (RM114,930) and a jail sentence of 51 weeks if they put their dogs on a vegetarian diet.

According to the Animal Welfare Act 2006, dogs are required to be fed a “suitable diet”, Mirror reported.

UK animal charity The Blue Cross has outlined all the legislation that apply to dog owners in the country and shows that all pet owners have a legal duty to provide for their welfare needs.

Under Section Nine of the Act, all domestic animals have the legal right to live in a suitable environment; eat a suitable diet; exhibit normal behaviour patterns; be housed with, or apart from, other animals; be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

While the advice on a suitable diet for dogs did not mention vegetarian diets, it does mention that any diet, from wet food or raw food to dry kibble, should “meet all of your dog’s nutritional needs”, the portal reported.

British Veterinary Association president Daniella Dos Santos was previously quoted as saying that under the Animal Welfare Act in the UK, the owner has the obligation to feed the animal an appropriate diet.

“If your personal belief system means you don’t want to eat any animal protein, that’s fine, but that diet is not designed to meet the welfare standards of your pet.”

“It is theoretically possible to feed a dog a vegetarian diet, but it’s much easier to get it wrong than to get it right,” she reportedly said.