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Bereaved pet owners "should be entitled to compassionate leave"

Figures from the UK suggest bereaved pet owners cost the economy £1 billion and a call for compulsory leave is being made here.

Image: Richard Elzey via Flick/Creative Commons

THE HEAD OF an animal welfare group has suggested that pet owners whose pets die should get mandatory leave from work.

The Chairman of the North Wexford Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NWSPCA) called for companies to be “more sympathetic to employees”.

Speaking to Niall Boylan on Classic Hits 4FM earlier this week, Colin Webb said that for many families “pets become beloved members of the family and when they die people feel a traumatic loss”.

The show pointed to a recent survey taken in Australia that revealed that 74 per cent of people agree with the idea.

UK pet insurance company More Than have also said in the past that bereaved pet owners cost the UK economy over one billion euro every year due to employees calling in sick.

Webb suggested that staff were unlikely to work in the event of a bereavement anyway and said the idea would improve animal welfare in Ireland.

“We are not a good country in terms of providing good support against animal cruelty and it would send out a good message to say that pets are more than just a piece of property, and we do recognise that the loss of a pet can cause grief and stress.”

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