May 2003



Cat kidney transplants — barbarous


The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), regulatory body for Britain’s 20,000 vets, has approved kidney transplantation for cats.


But some vets are not happy with the moral, ethical and legal ramifications associated with taking kidneys from healthy young cats when in the words of the RCVS:


‘It is worth noting that kidney transplantation is one of very few treatment options for cats with near-terminal renal failure. Renal transplantation is not a cure. It hopes to provide a good quality of life for a cat, which would not otherwise survive. The procedure does not provide a “normal” life expectancy – average at present in the US is up to 2 years. Post-operatively, cats then take a range of drugs every day and they require regular weekly check-ups.’


At the recent RCVS elections concerned vets lobbied the candidates seeking their views on the controversial proposals.


Tom Lonsdale, a candidate in the elections, slammed the kidney transplant proposals as ‘barbarous’. ‘Kidney disease is widespread in cats and in most instances it can be traced to the animals’ foul gum disease and junk food diet.’


The pet food makers know about the effects of their junk foods. Mars, the makers of Pedigree pet foods warn vets that: ‘Major health problems can start with gum disease. Dental problems are known to increase with age and are increasingly being linked to vital organ disease most notably kidneys and liver.’


Tom Lonsdale’s RCVS election campaign spotlighted the junk pet food producers and their allies in the veterinary profession . Ten per cent of voters supported the campaign.


‘We need a far reaching independent enquiry into the devastating effects of junk pet food. Meanwhile young cats need to be protected from those who would steal their kidneys.’


For further information please contact:

Stephen King  Telephone: 020 8590 3604

Tom Lonsdale