Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement


This statement is made pursuant to Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

It relates to the financial year 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019. This statement covers the activities of The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals and its three wholly-owned subsidiaries PDSA Trading Limited, PDSA Property Services Limited, and PDSA PetAid Enterprises Limited.

This statement sets out PDSA’s commitment to identifying, reducing and eliminating slavery and human trafficking within its organisation and its supply chains.

We acknowledge our responsibility to comply with all principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Structure and Supply Chains

We are the UK’s leading veterinary charity. Every year, the dedicated teams at our 48 Pet Hospitals work tirelessly to provide 2.7 million veterinary treatments. This helps over 470,000 much-loved pets. Across all of PDSA’s services, a total of 300,000 people have been supported.

PDSA was founded in 1917 by Maria Dickin with the aim of improving the welfare of pets and alleviating poverty. Throughout the past 100-plus years, we have delivered veterinary support to those in need, as well as providing preventive and educational services.

We have around 2,000 employed staff and over 5,400 people volunteered with us in 2019.

We have a variety of supply chains that provide goods, services and works to support the delivery of our frontline services as well as enabling internal functions to deliver services within the organisation. The vast majority of our suppliers and contractors are based in the UK or the EU. We acknowledge that there may be modern slavery occurring in our supply chains that we are not aware of and we are committed to continuously improving our processes and procedures to identify, reduce and eliminate this wherever possible.


PDSA has an Ethical Statement in place that covers a number of wider issues. It is shared with our contractors and they are required to follow it as part of our contracting process. This is under regular review and an update will be published in 2020.

We have a number of policies that help us to reduce the risks that modern slavery may be part of our own organisation; these include policies covering recruitment, grievances, harassment and bullying, whistleblowing and safeguarding.

Due Diligence Processes

Our Contracts & Procurement Team provide support and guidance to the organisation in relation to procurement activities. As such, our Supplier Questionnaire contains questions relating to the Modern Slavery Act and our New Supplier Request Form requires a statement to be confirmed that due diligence has been carried out in relation to modern slavery. Our standard contract Terms & Conditions as well as General Conditions of Purchase include sections on the Modern Slavery Act. When negotiating contracts we include clauses relating to modern slavery and PDSA’s Ethical Statement.

Modern Slavery Project Group

We recognise that there is always more that we can be doing as an organisation to minimise the risk of modern slavery occurring in our supply chains.

In order to further develop our approach to modern slavery, a Project Group was established in 2019 by the Senior Management Team. This Group is sponsored by the Director of Human & Corporate Resources and led by the Contracts & Procurement Manager.

The Project Group has been developing our approach across a number of areas including policy, risk assessment, auditing, measuring effectiveness and further training for staff. The Project Group includes representatives from various disciplines including veterinary services, marketing, corporate partnerships, HR, internal audit and buying teams, and has the support of all senior managers.

The Project Group has:

  • Identified supply chains that may be at high risk of modern slavery
  • Prioritised these based on risk / value / impact
  • Begun to develop an audit methodology
  • Asked a number of suppliers with potentially high risk supply chains for their Statements and strategies in relation to modern slavery.

During 2020 we will:

  • Trial an audit methodology and report its findings to senior management
  • Review our current contracts and ensure they all contain relevant clauses in relation to modern slavery, where these need strengthening we will liaise with suppliers to do so
  • Continue to liaise with current suppliers to understand their approaches to modern slavery.

Our Commitment

We recognise the impact that our procurement and purchasing activities, along with our corporate partnerships, can have on reducing modern slavery in the UK and around the world. We are committed to not only challenging ourselves to do better but also our suppliers, contractors, and partners.

This Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement was approved by the Board of Trustees at its meeting on 26 March 2020.

John Smith, Chair, and Jan McLoughlin, Director General, signatures

Page last updated: 26 March 2020