Dogs and cats can neither catch the Corona virus or pass it on to humans according to the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA). Yet this is not stopping the Chinese who say they are about to start killing dogs and throughout the country.
Vigilantes and officials alike have promised to begin killing domestic animals found outside of homes to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
“Killing animals because of fake news that they carry the virus is just so wrong,” said David Barritt, executive director of Network for Animals. “These animals need care not killing. The Chinese government should be feeding and caring for the animals until their owners can return.”
As an example of the hysteria spread by this fake news, in Jordan, citizens have been warned not to go near to stray dogs to avoid contracting the disease. Yet as WSAVA points out: “there is currently no evidence that companion animals could be a source of infection to people.”
NFA’s Jordanian partners, Al-Rahmeh Association for Animals, is extremely concerned about this warning: Jordan has a very poor track record regarding the ethical treatment of domestic animals. We reported in recent years how dogs have been the target of a nationwide extermination campaign, and are worried that dogs will once again become the victims of human panic.
The American Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that pet-owners limit contact with their dogs and cats to avoid sharing the disease with their animals. WSAVA suggests that should pet owners find that their animal has developed an unexplained illness after spending time with a person who has the disease, they should call their veterinary surgeons ahead to let them know that they will be bringing an animal who has been exposed to COVID-19. When handling unfamiliar dogs, one should wash hands before and after contact, and people infected with the virus should limit contact with the animals and wear a face mask.
NFA pleads for us all to remain calm, take the necessary precautions for avoiding contracting the Coronavirus, and remember that you cannot get the virus from dogs or cats.