January’s Companion featured a research project organised by Martin Whitehead, of Chipping Norton Veterinary Hospital in Oxfordshire. Martin is using funding from PetSavers and the Companion Animal Welfare Council to research the diseases and welfare of pet reptiles. The research addresses the fact that there is little quantitative data concerning the welfare of these companion animals.
The project is in three parts: An online survey of the reptile-owning public to determine the species of reptile they own and their husbandry, illnesses and lifespan; data mining the clinical records of exotic-animal practices to extract information about the cases seen and a survey of vets in small animal practice about the reptiles they see.
Martin Whitehead is calling on Veterinary Surgeons to take part in the third stage of research and a survey has been created in collaboration with animal-welfare academics and the BSAVA, BVZS and RSPCA.
To take part in the research you can access the survey here
The survey is intended for Veterinary Surgeons, however if you do not see reptiles in practice yourself, Martin will still value your opinion on the keeping of reptiles as pets, with a shorter questionnaire.
Your input will add to understanding of this subject and results will be published in a veterinary journal. Plus all people completing the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win an Apple iPad.
For more information on the background and scope of the research – you can read the Companion article here