The American Veterinary Association (AVA) says “there is no evidence at this point to indicate that, under natural conditions, pets spread COVID-19 to people”.
A tiger in the New York Zoo died this Tuesday night, having tested positive for COVID-19. This has sparked fears for many pet owners that their pets might be able to contract and carry the virus. NFA is very concerned that humans will turn on pets as the disease spreads across the globe. Already, there have been reports from Lebanon that animals have been poisoned for fear of contamination. In China, where there is little sympathy for stray dogs, many dogs were abandoned during their lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reinforces that “there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19 to people or that they might be a source of infection in the United States”.
CDC recommends that pet owners take the same precautions with their pets as they do with other humans if they think they have contracted the illness, and minimize the chances of transmission. This could mean asking a friend or family member to take care of your pooch, and not having any physical contact until well after you have recovered. If you have no choice, be vigilant about keeping your hands clean whenever you handle your animals’ food, waste and supplies.
NFA’s executive director, David Barritt has called on pet owners to “please take the necessary precautions to take care of your animals during this difficult time. There is no need to be afraid: You cannot get the coronavirus from your animals, so please don’t abandon them.”