Pets: Loneliness

(asked on 28th August 2020) - View Source

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cats report entitled Cats as Companions: Can Cats Help Tackle Loneliness, published July 2020, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care of the effectiveness of pet ownership on (a) reducing loneliness and (b) reducing cost to the NHS.

Answered by
Victoria Prentis Portrait
Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
This question was answered on 8th September 2020

I recognise the important role that pets play in providing companionship to owners of all ages in this country. Recent events have highlighted how much we, as a nation of animal lovers, value this companionship, as we experienced restrictions in social contact and saw an increased demand for pets, including cats, both for purchase and rehoming. I agree with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cats that cats can help alleviate loneliness.

Defra officials will engage with the Department of Health and Social Care in relation to any actions they wish to take relating to those aspects and recommendations in the report covering mental health issues and associated NHS costs.

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