3 months ago

Heat stress (Guideline)

Heat stress

Guideline for the management of Heat Stress in Animals Despite a long running and well recognised campaign by the RSPCA, it is still common for dogs to suffer from heat stress whenever the temperature rises. Whilst people tend to be aware of the risk of cars, they may not consider the risk posed by conservatories or greenhouses. What powers do we have to intervene? As a Veterinary Surgeon we are considered members of the public despite our expert knowledge and skills and have no power to intervene if an animal is in distress, without first obtaining an owner’s consent. It is therefore important to call 999 in such a situation and request immediate Police attendance. RSPCA/SSPCA inspectors have no power of access and cannot break into cars or houses, so it is better to call the emergency services before calling the RSPCA. Police officers are not normally allowed to remove animals without a certificate from a Veterinary Surgeon. This must not be issued without first having sight of the animal or its circumstances. The Police do have the power to act without a veterinary certificate where delay in seeking a certificate would cause or exacerbate suffering. An animal in a hot vehicle is considered by law to be such a situation. If treatment fails and it is necessary to euthanase an animal without an owner’s consent, permission must be obtained from a Police Officer. Such a decision will require a signed veterinary certificate confirming that the animal requires immediate destruction. Normally, where time allows, the opinion of two independent Veterinary Surgeons should be sought. Keep a copy of the certificate, get it countersigned by the Police Officer and record their name, collar number and station in the clinical records. Welfare Working Party, June 2018