Next Article in Journal
Rearing Undocked Pigs on Fully Slatted Floors Using Multiple Types and Variations of Enrichment
Previous Article in Journal
Data Mining and Validation of AMPK Pathway as a Novel Candidate Role Affecting Intramuscular Fat Content in Pigs
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Animals 2019, 9(4), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040138

The Views of the UK Public Towards Routine Neutering of Dogs and Cats

Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow, Jarrett Building, Glasgow G61 1QH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 29 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
  |  
PDF [404 KB, uploaded 2 April 2019]
  |  

Simple Summary

While the routine neutering of pet dogs and cats is very common, it impacts on animal welfare and can be ethically problematic. Using an online and in person questionnaire, we investigated for the first time the attitudes of the UK public to the routine neutering of dogs and cats. The respondents (n = 451) expressed views both supporting and opposing routine neutering, but predominantly (>80%) supported the practice. Primary justifications were prevention of unwanted offspring and reproductive diseases. Around 10% of the respondents disagreed and felt that neutering should only be done for medical reasons. Men were less likely than women to agree with neutering of dogs and cats, and those with meat reduction diets were more likely to be against neutering. Cat owners supported neutering more than non-cat owners. Our results characterise how members of the UK public currently perceive the acceptability of routine neutering of dogs and cats.

Abstract

Despite being routinely recommended by veterinarians, neutering of dogs and cats has both positive and negative impacts on animal welfare and is ethically problematic. We examined attitudes of a sample of the UK public towards routine neutering of dogs and cats using a questionnaire. Respondents indicated their level of agreement with statements describing welfare and ethical reasons ‘for’ and ‘against’ the neutering of male and female dogs and cats. We conducted a general linear model (GLM) analysis to investigate the effects of demographic factors on agreement scores. Respondents (n = 451) expressed views both supporting and opposing neutering. The predominant view (>80%) supported neutering, justified primarily by prevention of unwanted offspring and reproductive diseases. Around 10% of the respondents disagreed and felt that neutering should only be done for medical reasons. Men were less likely than women to support neutering (p < 0.001). Those with meat reduction diets were more likely to be against neutering (p < 0.05) and cat owners supported neutering more than non-cat owners (p < 0.05). Although the data reflected a wide range of ethical views, our findings show that the UK public generally supports the routine neutering of dogs and cats. This insight has implications for future policy-making and compliance with veterinary advice. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal ethics; animal welfare; cat; dog; neutering; public opinion; UK animal ethics; animal welfare; cat; dog; neutering; public opinion; UK
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Wongsaengchan, C.; McKeegan, D.E. The Views of the UK Public Towards Routine Neutering of Dogs and Cats. Animals 2019, 9, 138.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Animals EISSN 2076-2615 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top