PETA Urges Parliament To Follow Switzerland’S Lead And Require Animal Adopters To First Pass A Test

For Immediate Release:
21 May 2008

Sam Glover 020 7357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

This morning, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Europe (PETA) Managing Director Ingrid E. Newkirk sent an urgent letter to all members of Parliament asking them to introduce a law that would require prospective adopters of cats, dogs, birds and other companion animals to demonstrate their ability to properly care for the animals by first taking a course and passing an exam. In the letter, Newkirk stresses the importance of including in the law species-specific requirements regarding physical and psychological stimulation, which can differ greatly from one species to another.

Newkirk points to the rising animal-abandonment rate in the UK and lays the blame squarely at the feet of people who obtained animals without knowing how to care for them. Two famous examples of unqualified animal guardians are Americans Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, who keep buying new dogs from breeders as though the animals were fashion accessories, and the old ones seem to disappear.

“Anyone who has ever worked or volunteered in a shelter knows that many people casually acquire animals and then discard them like so much rubbish”, writes Newkirk, who has sent similar letters to the Scottish and the European parliaments. “People are growing up not knowing how to care for animals and without a thought for the commitment such a responsibility should entail.”

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PETA’s letter to British MPs follows.