Taking place during National Pet Month, NOAH is supporting the first annual World Animal Vaccination Day on 20 April 2016.
Launched by global bodies HealthforAnimals and the World Veterinary Association (WVA), the day is to raise awareness of the vital role vaccines play in protecting the health of animals and often, as a result, people too.
The focus of the first World Animal Vaccination Day is the importance of cat vaccination and keeping these vaccines up to date. Vaccination can prevent terrible suffering and even death in our cats. For example, with feline leukaemia, 80-90% cats infected die within 3-4 years. But vaccination can help prevent this. Thanks to vaccination helping to keep disease levels down, less than 1-2% of healthy cats in the world are infected by feline leukaemia .
NOAH chief executive Dawn Howard says: "An animal cannot tell you how it is feeling, although diligent owners can spot signs that something is not right. But with some of the diseases, such as feline leukaemia, which can be prevented by vaccination, signs of illness may mean it is already too late."
Vaccination by responsible owners has kept a check many diseases, but control is not the same as eradication, and with over a quarter of the cat population never having been vaccinated, diseases such as feline leukaemia, as well as infectious enteritis, chlamydia and cat flu, are still around.
"Disaster could be ready to strike," says Mrs Howard. "The new cat on the street, the stray that sneaks in through the cat flap; they could be harbouring disease, which could infect your cat if it is not fully protected”. Talk to your vet about how best to protect your cat, and what vaccinations they need. This can depend on your cat’s lifestyle and contact with other cats.
“In the UK 1.7 million cats are not registered with a vet 2.While a NOAH study showed 50% pet owners would spare no expense to treat their pet if it was ill, vaccination is the most effective and least expensive way to keep your cat healthy in the first place."
“We are pleased to support HealthforAnimals and WVA as they launch this celebration of the value of animal vaccination to the health of our pets and indeed our own health. With 75% of all new human pathogens originating from animals, vaccines are key to limiting the future spread of infectious diseases between animals to people around the world” she added.
- HealthforAnimals is on Twitter as @Health4Animals
- World Veterinary Association is on Facebook.
- Follow NOAH on Twitter as @UKNOAH, and through the I Heart my Pet campaign @IheartmypetUK and on Facebook
 PDSA Pet Animal Welfare Report (PAW Report) 2015 https://www.pdsa.org.uk/get-involved/our-current-campaigns/pdsa-animal-wellbeing-report
 Stats on our pet obsessions were taken from research carried out on behalf of NOAH by Opinion Matters among 1,094 small pet owners over the age of 18 living in the UK between 30 July and 08 August 2012